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From the Editors


A new report from The Nature Conservancy characterizes nature as the unseen and often silent victim of water scarcity.

But it doesn't have to be this way. TNC says innovative impact investing in water markets can shift water back to the environment while still securing enough water for cities and farms.

In a new report, TNC introduces one such innovative investment model. Called Water Sharing Investment Partnerships (WSIPs), these funds solicit investor capital to acquire a portfolio of water rights. Most of these rights are either leased or sold back on the market, giving investors a financial return and ensuring farmers and cities have access to enough water. A WSIP can acquire water rights by outright purchases, or by collaborating with farmers to implement water saving measures in irrigation.

Both of these methods free up water rights allocations to be used to divert water back to nature, restoring water flows in a manner that sustains healthy ecosystems.

Meanwhile, it's back to school for some water service providers working in Ecuadorian municipalities. Earlier this month, the California-based NGO Nature and Culture International (NCI) announced the launch of Ecuador’s first "water school," training municipal workers in the skills needed to join a water fund.

Also this month, more fodder to fuel the debate over water quality trading: The National Water Quality Trading Alliance made the case for trading in response to the case against Food and Water Watch penned last year. FWW has been quick to respond to the Alliance's view, telling a Bloomberg reporter trading will not put water bodies in line with federal water quality standards.  

And don't forget, next week is World Water Week! Forest Trends' Jan Cassin will be there, convening with several other experts to discuss forests, water and sustainable cities.  

And if you're in Hawai'i for the IUCN World Conservation Congress, our own Gena Gammie will be part of a session convened by the Forest Stewardship Council on how ecosystem markets can build confidence in conservation. Come say hello!

Happy reading,

- The Ecosystem Marketplace Team


Latest News

New Investment Model Uses Water Markets And Impact Investors To Restore Nature

When many users in a single watershed start jockeying for water rights, nature is often left out. Too often, that means degraded ecosystems and species decline. But The Nature Conservancy says innovative impact investing in water markets can shift water back to the environment while still delivering benefits to farms and people.

Get the details here.

New School Will Teach The Ways Of The Water Fund In Ecuador

Nature and Culture International is establishing Ecuador’s first water school, an institution created to train municipal water workers in the skills required to join and administer a water fund. The water fund model continues to rack up successes in managing Latin America’s stressed water resources. The school is meant to help scale up its use.

 Keep reading at Ecosystem Marketplace.

How The Paris Climate Agreement Can Drive Colombia’s Fledgling Peace – And Keep Liberia’s Peace Alive

Liberia has built a lasting peace by implementing land reforms that stifled the forces of conflict and paved the way for carbon finance to support sustainable agriculture. Now Colombia hopes to mimic that success with a peace plan of its own – one that harnesses the forest-protection provisions of the Paris Climate Agreement to overhaul its agriculture sector.

Ecosystem Marketplace has the story.

Here's the Deal

Protecting CA's Beautiful Surf from Stormwater may spur Private Investments in Green Infrastructure

Alisa Valderrama of the Natural Resources Defense Council is urging her hometown of San Diego to at least experiment with a private property green infrastructure grant program to better manage stormwater. San Diego is one of the many cities struggling with a toxic brew of stormwater runoff every time it rains.

Keep reading here.

NRDC is also partnering with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection to implement green infrastructure on private properties.

Learn more here.

Poverty, Drought and Felled Trees Imperil Malawi Water Supply

Severe poverty and climate change have created a vicious cycle in Malawi, where deforestation and drought wreak havoc on the African nation's power grid, causing chronic blackouts. That, in turn, drives demand for charcoal, which leads to further forest destruction that puts water supplies in danger.

The New York Times has coverage.

Federal Grant Money Helps Beach Cities go Green and Clean

Thirteen cities with a Great Lakes shoreline will receive funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency to implement green infrastructure projects. The funding is meant to help these beach cities cut down on stormwater runoff and improve water quality using nature-based interventions.

Find out more here.

How Sri Lanka Helped Boost International Mangrove Conservation

In the past year, Sri Lanka's countrywide efforts to conserve and restore its mangroves forests has resulted in, among other ventures, hundreds of micro-loans for women and a navy-administered massive mangrove planting. The program's momentum is spurring talks of replication in other countries sporting mangroves.

Reuters has the details.

Can Regionally-Adapted Green Streets Sweep the Nation?

Green infrastructure is picking up steam as an effective approach to manage municipal stormwater runoff, despite the fact that little peer-reviewed data exists proving its effectiveness. But experience suggests that individual weather patterns of different cities need to be accounted for when designing green solutions.

Learn more here.

Water Conservation Saves Species and Solves Feuds in US South  

A Georgia-based conservation group is working with farmers to implement irrigation techniques that are boosting water efficiency from 60% to 80%. The water improvements could not only help end long-running water disputes between Georgia, Alabama and Florida but also help save endangered mussel species.

National Geographic has coverage.

Policy Watch

US Environmental Markets Have Friends in High Places

In a new report, the US Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Agriculture vowed action to support market-based tools to improve water quality. The report lists several individual steps the federal agencies can take to promote water quality trading, which include increasing state awareness and establishing a national registry of programs.

The US Department of Agriculture explains.

China Announces Provincial-Level Ecological Experimentation Zones

The Chinese leadership announced this week that it would create national "ecological experimental zones" to test out new policy and administrative approaches for environmental protection. Among the strategies up for demonstration are natural resource balance sheets and ecological performance reviews for state officials. The announcement accompanied guidance and an implementation plan for Fujian Province, which along with Jiangxi and Guizhou provinces is slated to be first for eco-experimentation.

Xinhua News has coverage.

Project Developments

Big Corporate Names get Behind Louisiana Payments for Ecosystem Services Project

Efforts to restore a Louisiana wetland are leveraging the services the ecosystem provides, such as storm protection and habitat, to raise funds. The Restore the Earth Foundation together with the US Business Council for Sustainable Development are targeting businesses to raise $1 million and have already received promising responses from such big corporates as Coca Cola, Shell and Entergy.

Triple Pundit has the story.

Nuts and Bolts

WEF & DC Water Roll Out Nationwide Certification for Green Infrastructure

DC Water and the Water Environment Federation have launched a new website for their National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP). NGICP aims to create opportunities to train and certify workers in installing, maintaining, and inspecting green infrastructure. The first certifications are planned for early 2017. In the meantime, the NGICP site offers news, resources, and info on upcoming training opportunities. 

Learn more from the Stormwater Report.

New Research

The Case for Water Quality Trading  

Late last month, the National Water Quality Trading Alliance published a paper explaining the myriad benefits of trading programs. The paper was in part a response to an earlier analysis done by Food & Water Watch. The organization has already voiced their opinion on the NWQTA's response, saying trading remains unproven. 

Boomberg BNA has coverage of the running debate.

Read NWQTA's paper, The Case For Water Quality Trading.



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