Water Benefit Standard Launch: 3 September at World Water Week in Stockholm
The Gold Standard is launching our Water Benefit Standard that will drive funding and long-term governance to critically important water projects. By applying a Gold Standard results-based finance, or ‘payment for performance’ model, proven for a decade in financing successful clean energy projects, we will drive investment into programmes that supply, purify, and conserve water.
“Water Benefit Certificates – Mobilising Capital for Sustainable Water Projects”
World Water Week
03 September 2014, 12:45-13:45, Room T4
The standard is being developed in association with the Water Benefit Partners Programme, initiated and managed by First Climate. The Programme is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between the Swiss Government and a number of NGO and commercial partners.
• To provide safe water to local communities
• To conserve water by decreasing consumption
• To ensure other environmental and social benefits to local communities
Our Technical Advisory Committee comprised of the world’s leading technical and policy experts has put together the industry’s first Rules and Requirements, and Methodologies for water programmes to ensure initiatives lead to real, measurable, and sustainable outcomes. These will be posted and publicly available on 3 September 2014. We will then hold a public consultation to solicit feedback on the development of this groundbreaking work and will also continue piloting.
Expressions of interest are invited from organisations that wish to consider providing financial and/or material in-kind contributions to expand and enhance the Water Benefit Standard. Please contact the secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Water Benefit Standard in Action: Pilot Projects
The Water Benefit Standard is already making a difference in supplying, purifying, and conserving water around the globe. Take a look at the progress being made by the pilot projects currently underway.
Whave is working with the Ugandan government to develop a national safe water programme that contracts local water service entrepreneurs to establish and maintain improved water sources and promote hygiene. All water access interventions use low or zero carbon emitting technologies supplied by local producers who reach those households with the greatest needs based on consultations with local communities and NGOs.
The SSI technique features simple innovations that save up to 90% of water during sugarcane germination and additional water savings throughout cultivation. Smallholders can also increase their income with these sustainable practices. Through revenue from selling Water Benefit Certificates, AgSri will expand the project reach, subsidise the cost of seedlings for farmers to encourage wider participation, and develop educational campaigns.
Why the Water Benefit Standard?
Freshwater sustains life – neither people nor nature can exist without it. It’s necessary for food and energy security, it is vital for human health and functioning eco-systems. Water is also a tremendous contributor to economic growth.
Yet, many of the water systems that keep ecosystems thriving and feed a growing human population have become stressed. Rivers, lakes and aquifers are drying up or becoming too polluted to use. More than half the world’s wetlands have disappeared. Agriculture consumes more water than any other source and wastes much of that through inefficiencies. Experts predict that ‘business as usual’ water use will expose 4.8 billion people to severe water scarcity by 2050. For all these reasons many talk about a global water crisis, along with climate change, as the most pressing challenges of the 21st century.
Today’s Challenges in Water Finance
The World Water Council and Global Water Partnership cite that ‘water, above all, is a problem of governance’. WWF says often laws, policies and institutions meant to protect and manage water aren’t strong enough, meaning that resources aren’t managed well with an often shortfall in necessary investment and technologies. Sustainable WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) for example, estimates that of 800,000 hand pumps installed in Sub-Saharan Africa over the past 20 years, some 30% are known to fail prematurely, representing a total failed investment of at least $1.2 billion. Less than 1% of projects have any long-term monitoring.
The Water Benefit Standard provides the robust design and governance that will ensure long-term outcomes and drive funding to critically important water projects. As the programme scales up, it can make a meaningful contribution to the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goal to “ensure availability and sustainable use of water and sanitation for all.”
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