Plenary Sessions

Infrastructure Resilience

Water main breaks result in $2.6 billion worth of lost water every year. Events like Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey remind us that our levees and flood walls were not built to withstand increasingly devastating weather systems. And drinking water has become unsafe for many communities, as demonstrated by the tragic lead poisoning still affecting Flint, MI. With an eye towards what makes a good infrastructure impact investment, speakers will explore technological and community-focused solutions in order to change that picture and build resilience against future water-related catastrophes.

Investing in Agriculture 

Agriculture accounts for 80% of the United States’ water use. It also greatly affects the quality of our water, most notably due to nitrate pollution, which is hazardous to human health and creates “dead zones” in surface and marine waters. Though regressive water pricing and agricultural subsidies have long stood in the way of water-use innovations, farmers and investors across the country are now looking for ways to conserve and protect our most vital natural resource. Speakers will discuss a range of investment opportunities that lie at the nexus of water and agriculture.

 

small sessions

Innovations in Water Investing

Innovation is a critical part of solving any resource-related issue. When it comes to better water availability, water infrastructure and efficient water management, new technologies and solutions will continue to play a key role, as will impact investors that support these initiatives. The panelists for this session will discuss innovative approaches to addressing our water challenges and explore investments in various industries that help to conserve, restore and protect the water systems that we depend on.

Water Lens Investing

Addressing our water challenges will require trillions of dollars in new investment. Luckily, good water investments exist across all asset classes. Panelists will unpack what it means to invest through a water lens and share tips and tools for integrating water metrics into their investment portfolios.

Water Rights and Social Equity

Access to clean water is a universal right. Yet not all communities enjoy equal access and those that are most likely to be effected by water crises are often overlooked in the development of water management systems. How can foundations invest in water solutions that support efficiency and conservation alongside social equity? Panelists will discuss the social justice issues tied to water access and water hazards, including the water rights of Native Americans, and highlight water investment strategies that prioritize marginalized communities.