According to The Climate Resilient & Equitable Water Systems Capital Scan, commissioned by The Kresge Foundation and authored by California Environmental Associates and Mission Point Partners, freeing capital in order to expedite enhancements to water infrastructure that advances climate resilience and safeguards low-income communities from flooding needs integrated strategies for grantmaking and investment while also offering a guideline for efficiently using capital to stimulate water system solutions much like green infrastructure as well as planning and preparation.
“While nothing could have fully prepared Houston for the catastrophes of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, there are concrete steps that municipalities, utilities, and developers can take right now to better protect low-income residents from the storms and flooding we increasingly see in the era of climate change,” senior programme officer at The Kresge Foundation’s Environmental Programme, Dr Jalonne White-Newsome, said to WaterWorld. “This capital scan shows how philanthropy can support those efforts.”
According to WaterWorld, Dr White-Newsome also added that deficient water infrastructure investments results in high risk for low-income residents, regularly hit “first and worst” when flooding inundates inadequate water systems. In addition, as they are low-income, residents are also least capable of affording preparations for destructive events, and usually respond by evacuating in the face of danger, and upon returning, repair or even replace housing. The scan pinpoints opportunities that can be used as new models, leverage on available capital, and calculate risk for philanthropic investments and strategies.
“This scan analyses where the most impactful philanthropic investments might be made, the multiple forms they might take, and strategies for overcoming the barriers to success,” Kim Dempsey, deputy director of Social Investment Practice at The Kresge Foundation, added. “The scan recommends integrated strategies that will require the collaboration of funders, water system managers, policymakers, non-governmental organisations, and community-based and equity-focused organisations among others. Philanthropic capital can be a catalyst for that work.”