The Business of Public Water
Public water utilities deliver more than 80% of the nation’s water to business and residential users – yet, our nation’s freshwater infrastructure has arrived at a critical juncture. Largely built on systems developed during the 19th and 20th centuries, our water infrastructure is aging, our technology is outdated and our governance systems are ill equipped to handle rising demand and environmental challenges.
Additional strain is being placed on these systems from a variety of sources, including pressures from urbanization and changing climate conditions, including drought, wildfire and extreme precipitation events that compromise water security and water quality. Coupled with limited federal funding, many U.S. public water utilities are struggling to deliver safe, affordable drinking water in ways that reduce pressures on ecosystems and sustain fiscal health. Sustaining our municipal water supplies demands a new business model for public water providers.
How we work
Ceres is working to transform this sector. We educate and engage bond investors to develop credit risk assessment methods that appropriately value sustainable water governance and resource management, and to develop standards for investment vehicles that will channel capital toward sustainable water systems.
Ceres’ CFO Connect promotes learning among water utility financial directors in the Colorado River Basin around the financial practices that will enable the transition to a new business model built upon flexibility, resilience, resource efficiency and affordability. Our staff is partnering with scientists, investors and other market players on advancing a standard for water-related bonds to influence the next generation of freshwater infrastructure projects that sustain and protect the nation’s water resources. Together with partners, Ceres is translating innovative ideas and research into real outcomes that deliver value in advancing water infrastructure nationally and beyond.
Explore our work
- Water Utility Partnerships: CFO Connect
- Financing Sustainable Water Infrastructure: The Water Climate Bond Standard
- Water Disclosure and Credit Assessment
- Report: Water Connection Charges: A Tool for Encouraging Water-Efficient Growth
- Blog: The Good and Bad News of Declining Water Demand, National Geographic
- Report: The Ripple Effect: Water Risk in the Municipal Bond Market
- Report: Bond Financing Distributed Water Systems: How to Make Better Use of Our Most Liquid Market for Financing Water Infrastructure
- Video: Squeezing a Stone, Ceres Conference Plenary
- Report: Measuring and Mitigating Water Revenue Variability: Understanding How Pricing Can Advance Conservation Without Undermining Utilities’ Revenue Goals
- More: Explore Other Ceres Water Infrastructure Reports
- 2016 Preview: Investors Will See Tighter Connection Between Water and Climate, Circle of Blue
- Green Bonds – A Way to Invest in California Water Sustainability, San Francisco Chronicle
- Changing the Price of Water My be the Way to Beat Drought, Deseret News
- How Will Utilities Survive Cost Pressures of Conservation?, Water Online