Water Benefit Standard: Now accepting project proposals
The Gold Standard has launched 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.
Project developers can now develop their own projects–either from a new or existing methodology. Submit your project proposal.
Water Benefit Standard Goals:
• 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 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. We completed a 3-month public consultation and the new standard reflects the input from a diverse stakeholder base.
We are now seeking funding to expand and enhance the Water Benefit Standard with a near-term focus on water and agriculture. Please contact the secretariat at email@example.com if you would like to support the next phases of development.
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 Water Security Programme, Uganda
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.
Agsri Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI), India
The SSI technique features simple innovations that save up to 90% of water during germination and additional water savings throughout cultivation. Smallholders can also increase their income with these sustainable practices. Using revenue from Water Benefit Certificate sales, AgSri will expand the project, subsidise the cost of seedlings for farmers to encourage wider participation, and develop educational campaigns. Read about AgSri’s Millennium Alliance Award >>
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.”
The standard has been 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.
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