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Social, economic, and environmental well-being of any community depends on reliable access to clean water. Over the past century, our nation has invested heavily on large-scale engineering solutions to enhance water reliability and security, creating one of the largest and most complex water use networks in the world. However, increasing pressure from aging infrastructure, population growth, changing societal and economic realities, and rapid climatic variability is posing new and unexpected set of challenges to our sophisticated water use system making it less reliable and resilient.  

Distributed water solutions such as conservation and efficiency, water-reuse, green infrastructure, and gray water systems hold the promise to address some of these challenges, however implementation of these solutions still suffer from the rigidity and complexity of our current water use systems, and the fragmented and in some cases outdated governance structures that overlay them. In addition, the lack of appropriate measurement methods to understand the success of these solutions makes it difficult to secure affordable and reliable financing options for them.
 
Newsha Ajami, Direcotr of Urban Water Policy at Stanford University, will discuss a novel financing framework developed for the water sector based on some of the existing financing mechanism that have been used in the energy sector to fund distributed energy solutions at various scales. Ajami will also discuss how new performance measures are essential in further securing access to affordable and innovative financing solutions.