The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water

New Episode of #ClimateReady Podcast | Utilities of the Future, Today: How Public Utilities are Pioneering Climate-Smart Infrastructure

We count on public utilities to provide services integral to everyday life. When we turn on the tap or flip a light switch, the assumption is that water will run and rooms will light up. But as the climate changes and cities continue to grow at a breakneck pace, what can utilities do to continue to provide these essential services? Is there a way to avoid overexploiting natural resources while keeping ratepayers happy?

For insight into climate-smart development, we look to the pioneering efforts of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) in the U.S. state of California. On this episode of ClimateReady, we’ll hear from three SFPUC representatives: Mike Brown, Sarah Minick, and Karri Ving. They describe the ways in which SFPUC is utilizing — and financing — nature-based “green” infrastructure to reinforce and supplement their existing systems in order to provide water, wastewater, and power services to millions of customers in a region highly vulnerable to climate change. In the second part of the discussion, we hear how SFPUC is financing these innovative projects — totaling over US$1.4 billion — through the use of the world’s first certified climate bonds dedicated to water infrastructure.

Following the interview, we wrap up with another installment of “Climate of Hope” in partnership with the World Youth Parliament for Water. Karan Gajare, a civil engineer from India pursuing a Masters Degree in Environmental Engineering through an Erasmus Mundus program, shares a success story of a small village taking big steps to adapt to and mitigate climate change in his native India (full story at http://bit.ly/38tc9F7).
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Life-hacking water challenges: making low energy, low carbon utilities happen

This guest blog was written by Eva Promes, Programmes Officer, Cities for the Future at the International Water Association (IWA).

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There is no shortage of challenges these days. The tiny day-to-day ones, such as untangling your earphones are easily relatable and normally resolved with a quick fix. Big global water challenges are a whole other story. The problems related to climate change are so big that often people struggle to grasp the solutions.
wind turbines


There seems no easy solution for achieving targets such as defined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or the National Determined Contributions (NDCs) that aim to limit the impacts of climate change. However, there is general consensus that time is running out to secure safe water and sanitation services for all. So what can we, in the water sector, do to bring these global targets within reach?
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