US Govt and Companies Invest $140m in Water Fund

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by KnowESG
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The Water Resilience Coalition (WRC), an initiative committed to reducing global water stress, launched the WRC Investment Portfolio and its first vehicle, the WaterEquity Global Access Fund IV, which attracted almost $140 million in investments.

Starbucks, Ecolab, Gap Inc., Reckitt, and DuPont, all members of the WRC, have invested almost $140 million in the WaterEquity Global Access Fund IV. The fund's target is to reach $150 million, including a $100 million commitment from the US International Development Finance Corporation and aims to provide 5 million people access to water, sanitation, and hygiene by mid-2023.

Presently, over 2 billion people across the globe reside in areas that suffer from water scarcity. If no measures are taken, it is anticipated that within a decade, the world will experience a 40% freshwater shortage based on projected demand. By 2050, over 50% of the global population will inhabit water-scarce areas.

Sanda Ojiambo, CEO of the UN Global Compact, emphasised the importance of investing in water to protect it, as $300 billion of business value is at risk from water scarcity, pollution, and climate change.

The Water Resilience Coalition's Investment Portfolio aims to tackle this issue with sustainable long-term investments, aligning with the global call for new water investment strategies and increased private sector investment.

At least $1 billion worth of diverse investment mechanisms is identified in the WRC Investment Portfolio, including private equity, blended finance, microfinance, and impact bonds, among others.

WaterEquity's Global Access Fund IV, the first asset manager solely focused on solving the global water and sanitation crisis, will provide microfinance loans for water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) assets to households in eight countries across South and Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America.

According to Jason Morrison, President of the Pacific Institute and Head of the CEO Water Mandate, the WRC Investment Portfolio is a new financing strategy that can help mobilise the corporate sector to take collective action on water through investment collaboration.

The WRC members, including WaterEquity, will leverage collective capital and have a greater impact on the water together than individually. WaterEquity's next fund, the Water and Climate Resilience Fund, will focus on investing in climate-resilient water and sanitation infrastructure for low-income populations in South and Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America.

The WRC, created through a partnership between the UN Global Compact and the Pacific Institute, has launched the WRC Investment Portfolio, which identifies various investment mechanisms amounting to at least $1 billion. This includes private equity investments, blended finance mechanisms, microfinance and impact bonds, nature-based solutions, and water and climate resilience.

The WaterEquity Global Access Fund IV, the initially supported vehicle of the WRC Investment Portfolio, has received almost $140 million in investments from five WRC member companies, namely Starbucks, Ecolab, Gap Inc., Reckitt, and DuPont, and $100 million from the US International Development Finance Corporation.

WaterEquity's next fund, the Water and Climate Resilience Fund, will invest exclusively in climate-resilient water and sanitation infrastructure for low-income populations in countries in South and Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America.

Microsoft has reached a preliminary agreement with WaterEquity to be the first investor in the Water and Climate Resilience Fund, while Starbucks has committed $50 million in investments to advance access to water, sanitation and hygiene.

WaterEquity is the first asset manager focused exclusively on addressing the global water and sanitation crisis. The WRC Investment Portfolio is a collective investment strategy of the Water Resilience Coalition to build a water-resilient future.

Currently, 28 leading global companies, including partners such as WaterAid, Water.org, and Unicef, are part of the Coalition and aim to accelerate positive water impact in 100 water-stressed basins, contribute to water security for 3 billion people, and enable equitable WASH access for more than 300 million people by 2030.

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Source: Smart Water Magazine

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