Virridy Staff Highlight New Pathways to Water Sustainability and Climate Action Through Innovative Research

Boulder, CO – Virridy is excited to share groundbreaking findings from a collaborative study established by WaterAid, the Voluntary Carbon Markets Initiative, the Gold Standard and HSBC and let by the University of Colorado Boulder and Castalia Advisors, demonstrating how the global water sector can significantly reduce carbon emissions by 4% – a figure surpassing the combined emissions of the aviation and shipping industries. This pivotal research entitled ‘Decarbonizing Water’, the report lays the groundwork for a sustainable future where global water resiliency is catalyzed by innovate funding from the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM). Previous support by Virridy and CU Boulder funders the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, the Autodesk Foundation and the Mortenson Center of Global Engineering & Resilience also proved critical to the work.

As we approach World Water Day, the report sheds light on the potential to cut down over 1.6 billion tonnes of CO2 annually within the water sector, an effort paralleling nearly half of the European Union’s yearly emissions. This discovery not only underlines the critical role of water in climate strategies but also charts a course towards enhancing water security and sanitation globally, especially for communities most impacted by climate change.

The findings highlight that resilient water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) systems are vital for nurturing healthy societies and robust economies. This year’s ‘Top Risks 2024’ report echoes our team’s conclusion, pointing to the exacerbated risks of water scarcity on vulnerable populations amid climatic, political, and economic instability.

The CU Boulder team’s analysis maps out a feasible journey to a greener and more robust global water infrastructure. By focusing on coastal blue carbon, improved wastewater and drinking water treatment, and irrigation upgrades alongside broader energy efficiency gains, the world can secure water resources while also generating significant funding through voluntary carbon markets.

This approach presents a triple win scenario: it slashes emissions, bolsters water security, and expands access to clean water and proper sanitation for millions. The implementation of such projects—ranging from enhancing drinking water quality in developing regions to cutting methane emissions from waste management—exemplifies the power of combining carbon credits with tangible water improvements.

Achieving these ambitious goals requires a united effort among nations, the water community, and climate financiers. Virridy proudly acknowledges the vision and support of the  funders—WaterAid, HSBC, and VCMI, along with the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, the Autodesk Foundation and the Mortenson Center in Global Engineering & Resilience —in commissioning and supporting this transformative research. Together, we are paving the way for sustainable water management and climate resilience, demonstrating the indispensable link between water security and climate action.

As we navigate through an era where the climate crisis increasingly reveals itself as a crisis of water, the urgency of our mission becomes ever clearer. With 90% of natural disasters being water-related—spanning floods, droughts, storms, to rising sea levels—the interconnectedness of climate and water challenges is undeniable.

Our research arrives at a pivotal moment, offering hope and actionable pathways forward. The solutions are within reach. However, realizing these solutions demands immediate action: increased investment and better-planned management are essential to develop water, sanitation, and hygiene systems robust enough to weather future climate pressures.

Virridy stands committed to spearheading these efforts, backed by the support of our funders and the collaborative spirit of the global community. Together we can forge a future where water security and climate resilience go hand in hand, ensuring a sustainable world for generations to come.

Quotes from Key Partners:

Kate Hughes CBE, Resilient Water Accelerator CEO:

“Water is at the heart of the climate crisis. The impacts of the climate change are felt through water, whether that be too little or too much. At the same time, emissions from the water sector are bigger than aviation and shipping put together. This research identifies a major opportunity to cut carbon emissions whilst also boosting vital water services for millions of people in low- and middle-income countries dealing with the devastating impacts of climate change, delivering a triple win. We need to see international partnerships fostering meaningful climate action across society, policy makers, and business to ensure investment from this untapped potential reaches communities on the frontline of the climate crisis.”

Lydia Sheldrake, VCMI Director of Policy & Partnerships:  

“These findings show the urgency of upgrading global water systems to achieve a low-carbon, just transition. If the world is going to get on track, we need to scale investment in emissions reductions well before 2030. High-integrity voluntary carbon markets provide one part of the solution. Now we need concerted collaboration and ramped up support to countries and communities to implement high-quality projects and mobilize demand, so finance flows to those who need it most.”

Evan Thomas, Professor and Director, Mortenson Center in Global Engineering and Resilience, University of Colorado Boulder: 

“The first thing many people notice about climate change is what it’s doing to our water. Dry places are becoming drier; wet places are becoming wetter. But funding water security solutions is challenging because water is a local problem. In this report, we show how local water projects can be brought into a global carbon credit economy. Over 1.6 billion carbon credits could be generated per year from water security projects – for example to encourage water conservation in Colorado or water treatment in Rwanda.  These credits as part of a liquid market can be bought and sold and create revenue that incentivizes the actions we all need to take to make sure water is available for everyone, always.”

About Virridy

Virridy Inc. develops and deploys technologies to manage water, energy, and agricultural resources in remote, off-grid environments including Africa and North America. The company’s low-cost satellite-connected sensors are compatible with a wide range of fixed infrastructure and support carbon credits, energy incentives, water permitting, and other environmental market commodities. 


Alex Johnson

Chief Strategy Officer, Virridy

[email protected]