May 22, 2017

Water-Financing Innovation Is Increasingly Local

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Conservation Finance Network interviewed the Nicholas Institute’s Martin Doyle about the realities of funding water infrastructure in the current political and economic environment. Doyle talked about two transactions in water markets that show promise of encouraging future private investment—one involving an attempt to obtain private capital for construction of a pump station at a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation reservoir in Yakima, Washington, to increase delivery of irrigation water for high-value crops in eastern Washington. “The thing that’s really interesting about it is the people who are structuring the deal are trying to tie environmental performance to the operation of the pumping plant,” said Doyle. “There’s a way that you can use the water for salmon-spawning-stream benefits. By tying environmental performance to it, they are hoping to attract environmentally interested capital. Basically, these would be impact investors who might be willing to do an environmental impact bond, do a performance-based contract, or provide concessionary capital because of the environmental benefits.”

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