“Living Map” for water financing created by Stanford researchers

Map includes case studies from around the country.

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Stanford's Newsha Ajami and her team created the "Living Map" to show case studies of successful innovative water financing efforts around the country.(Image credit: Stanford Water in the West)

STANFORD, CA, APRIL 21, 2017 -- Stanford researcher Newsha Ajami and her team have created the a "Living Map," featuring case studies of successful and innovative water financing efforts around the country.

Infrastructure needs are increasing as systems age and technology is developed. The problem is finding the money to carry out these projects that include innovative distributed water systems. The researchers hope their new tool will help regions finance upgrades.

"We need a new playbook that embraces a holistic view of our water system and offers new ideas and solutions for our aging infrastructure," saidNewsha Ajami, director of urban water policy at Stanford's Water in the West program and leader of the map project. "Integrating distributed water projects such as green infrastructure, wastewater recycling and storm- and graywater reuse into our current infrastructure network can enhance the flexibility and reliability of our water systems."

The Living Map shows case studies of successful innovative water financing efforts around the country designed to be implemented at various scales. The case studies feature a wide variety of mechanisms; for example, some are market-based systems like credit and permit trading used to implement green infrastructure projects built to manage stormwater runoff.

The map builds on work in a 2016 Water in the Westreportthat created a framework for water project financing with lessons from the electricity sector.

"We wanted to show that not only are these options available and possible in the electricity sector as they were laid out in our 2016 innovative financing report, but that various water utilities are already employing them," said Ajami.

The map will be updated as more case studies of new and different ways of looking at water infrastructure needs come to light, hence the name "Living Map." Ajami encourages stakeholders, researchers and decision-makers throughout the United States working on inventive water financing efforts to partner with her and the team to add projects to the map.

View the map here.

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