The financing will reduce water and energy waste, which can lower carbon emissions, and help create sustainable water and sanitation solutions for 20 million people
The Bezos Earth Fund has announced a $10 million grant Water.org to increase access sustainable, climate-proof water and sanitation facilities in developing countries where inefficient water infrastructure worsens climate impacts and access to freshwater.
Purifying and pumping water requires enormous amounts of electricity, much of which is lost due to massive leaks in many places. On average, a third of all the water that utilities pump through their pipes is lost due to leaks. In many places, losses exceed half, wasting energy and potentially increasing greenhouse gas emissions. The partnership promotes a new Water and Climate Philanthropic Fund that will unlock $1 billion in investments, providing small-scale water utilities with the financing they need to upgrade inefficient water and sanitation infrastructure and create sustainable water and sanitation solutions for 100 million people.
“Improving and expanding the ability of local utilities to provide safe water and improved sanitation is critical to helping people living in poverty build resilience to the impacts of climate change, such as water scarcity, droughts and floods.” said Matt Damon, co-founder of Water.org. “In partnership with the Bezos Earth Fund, we are committed to solving the water crisis, which is inextricably linked to the climate crisis.”
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As global temperatures rise and weather conditions intensify, those living in poverty in the developing world will feel the effects of climate change first and worst. Freshwater supplies are at risk of not meeting demand, and climate-related events could destroy vulnerable community infrastructure.
‘Access to safe water is crucial’ said Lauren SanchezVice Chairman of the Bezos Earth Fund. “Water.org’s efforts to address the water crisis and improve access to safe water and sanitation also reduce water and energy waste. We are proud to help this team provide millions of people with access to safe water while helping to achieve critical climate and biodiversity goals.”
Using proven microlending methods, Water.org will apply these methods to small water and sanitation facilities in India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Kenya and Brazil. The funding will support market expertise and local technical assistance to promote policy change and implementation of program development.
“This investment represents a rare win-win-win situation. Tackling leakage will make water available to many more people, improve health and livelihoods, make communities more resilient and help us reduce carbon emissions.” said the president and CEO of Bezos Earth Fund Andreas Steer. “More than that, every dollar of philanthropic funding will provide another $16 of capital to finance water and sanitation.”