Climate Financed Water Protection

Nature-Based Carbon Credits for Drinking Water

Virridy’s technologies and programs are today reaching millions of people with improved drinking water services in rural communities that have been impacted by climate change. Virridy’s patented sensor technologies and analytics provide greater water access by mobilizing water system operations and maintenance and unlocking climate financing in the form of carbon credit revenues. Virridy’s programs, in tandem with partners at the Millenium Water Alliance and the University of Colorado Boulder, have been recognized for benefitting millions of people globally by the Million Lives Collective, which is run by USAID, the World Bank, the Gates Foundation, UNICEF, and UKAID. Now, Virridy is taking to global scale the benefits of climate finance and sensor technologies for water protection.

The Problem

Climate change is threatening water security globally. Today, two billion people live with chronic high water stress, and four billion experience water stress at least one month a year. Almost a billion people do not have access to safe, clean drinking water. Dry places are becoming drier, with droughts driving crop failure, livestock death and displacement. Wet places are becoming wetter - with flooding destroying communities and contaminating drinking water supplies. The UN projects that water insecurity could displace at least 700 million people by 2030, a potentially massive humanitarian crisis.

However, most of the time, there is still an ample supply of water. The challenge has been installing and maintaining water pumps and water treatment systems that function reliably for communities. While rich countries highly subsidize drinking water utilities, the poorest communities in the world are often left with equipment installed using donor funding that ends after a few years. 

There are no quick technological or bureaucratic fixes to changing rainfall patterns and water availability. It is likely that these extremes will continue to worsen. Instead, sub-national, national and international communities must be motivated to find economic, policy, and political solutions to increase and maintain water security. Status-quo approaches to international development funding, embodied by foreign aid contracts and grant-making mechanisms, are insufficient to achieve lasting global water security. The amount of funding and the contractual modalities applied in its allocation are not proportional to the scale of the challenges nor reflective of the reparations that are arguably an ethical imperative to address the climate damage caused by high-income countries on low-income communities.

The Solution - Climate Financed Water Protection

Nature-based carbon credits and monitoring technologies to protect drinking water globally. 

Dedicated climate financing for loss and damage, sourced from national governments, inter-government agencies and, to an increasing extent, U.S. corporations' environment, social and governance (ESG) "net zero" commitments, provide an opportunity to switch capital into a climate reparative infrastructure. This includes reliable, sustainable and affordable water supplies. Virridy has innovated and brought to scale the methodologies and technologies needed to unlock climate finance for water security.

In 2007, Virridy’s CEO led the development and implementation of the first-ever United Nations Clean Development Mechanism program, earning carbon credits for water delivery, followed in 2010 by the first-ever Gold Standard voluntary program. Through these programs, tens of millions of dollars of private financing was leveraged to deliver household water filters to millions of people in Rwanda and Kenya, with revenue from carbon credits largely plowed back into education, repairs and replacements, resulting in significant health, economic and environmental benefits.