© Cenk Oruc

Bankable Water Solutions

Sustainable management of the world’s water has become one of the most pressing issues we face today. Decades of mismanagement, underinvestment, and weak policies – often due to a low appreciation of the diverse values of healthy river systems or the proper management of groundwater – have placed water resources under increasing strain.

However, there is a huge opportunity in front of us: the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that at least US$1 trillion of annual investment is needed for wastewater treatment, water plants, and supply networks alone.  A significant proportion of the trillion-dollar-plus investment need is made up of projects with the potential for strong business models and revenue profiles that are attractive to the private sector.

WWF is working to fill this investment gap by looking at Bankable Water Solutions to identify and vet a pipeline of bankable projects to protect and sustain Freshwater ecosystems in priority basins.
© WWF / Simon Rawles
Banking on a Sustainable Freshwater Future

Our Solution

Investors, banks and private companies are investing heavily in water-related infrastructure and they are hungry to invest in more sustainable water projects, but there is no pipeline of viable projects. WWF is taking action to support the development of a pipeline of investable or ‘Bankable Projects’ and to ensure that these are delivering against a broader landscape finance plan to support the development of more climate resilient and sustainable landscapes and economies. 

© Rick Denes

Landscape Finance

We look beyond the individual project and create an enabling environment for investors to support the sustainable financing of landscapes. Since WWF operates at the landscape level, we can create projects at the right scale to attract investors and crucially link the cumulative impacts of these projects. We have developed relationships with various Financial Institutions, including public and private institutions, banks and investors.

© Ch. Abdul Ghaffar

Global Supply Chains

We have relationships with the suppliers and the supply chains that add interest, capital, pressure and legitimacy to these investments. We can engage the global brands – the companies that source from these areas – and involve them in the solutions that emerge. We then look to leverage bankable projects with funding sources that are not seeking a return to fund the ‘un-fundable’ – the institutions, regulations and governance that are critical to our objectives but are not on the agenda of FI project financiers.

© WWF-Turkey

Link with water governance

We are partnering with the OECD to develop a global framework on investment pathways, linking better governance with investment in water-related infrastructure.

© WWF / Elma Okic

Leveraging finance for nature-based solutions

Barclays and Standard Chartered were the first banks to change their public policy, stating that they would no longer fund harmful projects in Ramsar wetlands. These decisions help governments implement the Ramsar Convention and we believe perhaps could form a blueprint for corporate action with respect to Ramsar sites going forward. 

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