View of spring with rocky mountains covered with snow in the background

© TNC

projects

The Nature for Water Facility works together with local champions to develop best-in-class watershed investment programs that deliver outcomes for people and nature.

PA/DE

Brandywine Christina

View of Brandywine Christina

The Hunt Magazine

i2 logo

Brandywine Christina

Christina Basin, PA/DE

Phase: Design

Nature-based Solutions: Agricultural BMPs

Water Security Challenge: Water Quality

Since 2015, The Nature Conservancy has worked with the University of Delaware's Water Resources Center, i2 Capital and local conservation partners aligned under the Delaware River Watershed Initiative to develop and empower the Brandywine-Christina Revolving Water Fund (RWF). The RWF has piloted its novel solution with a cohort of municipalities in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

With support from the William Penn Foundation, The Nature for Water team and i2 Capital partnered to position the RWF for its next phase of growth. Work included: (a) an analysis of priority NbS solutions for the region (including a full lifecycle benefits and costing analysis); (b) a GIS and hydrological prioritization mapping of approximately 4,000 potential NbS implementations across the Watershed with their costs and benefits; (c) an analysis of key demanders of NbS and their possible contribution towards state water quality objectives; and (d) a funding evaluation and summary of strategic priorities and next steps for the RWF.

The William Penn Foundation's Watershed Protection Program works towards a healthy Delaware River Basin. The program has funded the regional Delaware River Watershed Initiative for eight years, and has awarded nearly $150 million total to the Initiative. Learn more at www.4states1source.org .

Colombia

Cuenca Verde Water Fund

Water basin surrounded by vibrant green vegetation

© Ana Guzman

View of the city of Melellin, Colombia

© Ana Guzman

Cuenca Verde Water Fund

Medellin, Colombia

Phase: Execution

Nature-based Solutions: Agricultural BMPs

Water Security Challenge: Water Quality

Cuenca Verde is a well-established Water Fund operating in and around the Aburrá Valley, where the Colombian city of Medellín is located. Measured data have shown that Cuenca Verde is having positive a environmental impact, but its Technical Committee (which includes major local stakeholders, funders and researchers) wants to take this further and formalise the Fund's strategy in a forward-looking manner to amplify its positive impact.

The Nature for Water team is working with Cuenca Verde and its Technical Committee to: (a) develop a bespoke, modular hydrological model which accounts for various watershed characteristics specific to the region; (b) through the model, leverage data from the Water Fund and others to develop an NbS optimization strategy and identify specific priority sites for future implementations; and (c) develop and roll-out a decision support system (web-based tool) for use on an ongoing basis to better equip the Water Fund in its strategic planning.

India

Ghod River Water Fund

Ghod Amboli waterfall

© iStock, Amit Rane

Squirrel on a branch

© iStock

Ghod River Water Fund

Pune, India

Phase: Feasibility

India is emerging as an economic superpower – the UN estimates that half of India 2030 has yet to be built, and within the next 10 years, growing water consumption will more than double the available supply.

The Ghod River supplies water to more than 4.5 million people and 200 industries. It originates in the Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary – home to incredible biodiversity – where it supports vulnerable tribal communities who rely on the headwaters for subsistence and sacred sites. The Ghod also feeds Maharashtra’s arid farming regions before joining the Bhima River near the city of Pune where a growing urban population requires clean and reliable water for its businesses, families, and schools. Rapid development, deforestation, and climate change has impacted the region’s water security, spurring environmental, economic, health and social ramifications.

The Nature for Water Facility will conduct a Feasibility analysis to determine an investible portfolio of interventions that could measurably improve the region’s water security.

South Africa

Greater Cape Town Water Fund Steering Committee

The sun setting over a body of water.

Greater Cape Town Water Fund Steering Committee

Western Cape, South Africa

Phase: Execution

Nature-based Solutions: Invasive Species Removal

Water Security Challenge: Dry Season Flows, Groundwater Recharge

The earliest phase of Greater Cape Town Water Fund is establishing the future entity that will serve as the Fund’s long-term sustainable organization. This phase will set up the long-term governance structure and legally establish the NPC for the Fund. The N4W work will also set up the entity’s operating procedures, support resource mobilization of the entity, and build capacity for the staff and governance structure to be appointed. 

South Africa

Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region

Spectacular canyon view with palms, cliff, and dramatic clouds in blue sky

© iStock

Pinkish rocky mountains, and rolling hills

© iStock, Fabian Gysel

Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Region

Kruger to Canyons Biosphere, South Africa

Phase: Feasibility

Nature-based Solutions: Agricultural BMPs

Water Security Challenge: Water Quality

The K2C Biosphere Region hosts globally critical biodiversity alongside two of South Africa's strategic water source areas. The Nature for Water Facility will be investigating the feasibility of establishing a Catchment Investment Programme (CIP) to ensure investment in, and coherent governance of, NbS to ensure water security and protect and enhance biodiversity. The feasibility study will focus on three demonstration catchments: The Blyde, Klaserie and Sand River catchments. The feasibility study will undertake the detailed stakeholder, scientific, and ROI analyses necessary to move toward the design of the CIP, as well as produce an implementation strategy for the priority NbS, alongside a SWOT analysis to guide the subsequent phases of CIP development. Lastly, this engagement will produce an overall Business Case targeted at funders and long-term partners/contributors to the CIP.

USA

Lancaster Clean Water Partners

A farm in Lancaster county with the sun shining on it

A farm in Lancaster County. 

Lancaster Clean Water Partners

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA

Phase: Feasibility

Nature-based Solutions: Agricultural BMPs

Water Security Challenge: Water Quality

LCWP is a coalition organization that aims to bring together a diverse group of partner organization-local leader in business, municipal, public service, higher education, conservation planning, non-profit management-with a shares vision of clean and clear water in Lancaster County by 2040.  Lancaster County is responsible for a significant proportion of the pollution running from Pennsylvania into the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary habitat in the United States.  Over 700 miles of streams in Lancaster County are not achieving regulated water quality objectives- Lancaster County has been tasked with achieving over 20% of Pennsylvania's entire nitrogen and phosphorous reduction.  N4W is working with LCWP and CIF to assess the feasibility of the LCRWF, and conduct market sizing and funder analysis to identify specific NbS sites and determine the scale of the opportunity in dollar and water-quality terms.  N4W is also advancing initial feasibility and design considerations for the LCRWF. 

Website: https://lancastercleanwaterpartners.com/

East Anglia, England

Norfolk Water Fund

the Sun setting over Norfolk river in winter

Norfolk River- Paul Stearman 2020

Norfolk Water Fund

Norfolk County, East Anglia, England

Phase: Execution

Nature-based Solutions: Agricultural BMPs

Water Security Challenge: Water Quality

N4W is supporting the Norfolk Water Strategy Programme with the feasibility phase of the project and prepare the set-up of a collective action platform, the Norfolk Water Hub, and of a water fund, the Norfolk Water Fund.  This phase will focus on (i) prioritizing NbS,(ii) designing a long-term funding strategy, recommending the best suited legal and governance structure for the water fund, (iv) assessing the local capacity building need for the implementation of the identified NbS and, (v) design an implementation and monitoring and evaluation strategy.

The engagement is divided into two tranches: 

  • Water Quality and Nutrient neutrality offsets as potential revenue streams

  • Broadening the scope of the fund to tackle challenges related to water resources. 

Website: WRE Project Information

Maine

Sebago Clean Waters

A stream in a spruce forest from the air

Wetlands of Sebago Lake- Jerry Monkman

Two people in a red canoe on Sebago Lake

Enjoying the clean waters of Sebago Lake- Cait Bourgault

Sebago Clean Waters

Sebago Lake, Maine

Phase: Feasibility/ Design

Nature-based Solutions: Forestry BMP's ,Land Protection, Passive Restoration

Water Security Challenge: Water Quality

Sebago Clean Waters (SCW) aims to conserve 25% of the Sebago Lake watershed by 2032 (an additional 35,000 acres of forest compared to 2017) to protect water quality in Sebago Lake and provide other co-benefits.  N4W's objective is to help advance and accelerate SCW's conservation work through the development of a fundraising strategy for SCW, and the delivery of related financial analysis. 

This will involve mapping the funding landscape including the public sector sources (ie federal and state) as well as private sector and carbon credit systems.  These funding streams will then be addressed, alongside a review of current funders, to best determine which opportunities SCW should prioritize moving forward.  A strategy will then be developed for engaging with each of the prioritized funder types; and then discussed and affirmed with SCW and its partners. 

Website: Sebago Clean Water Website

Tanzania

Tanga Water Fund

Usambara Mountains in mist

Usambara Mountains - Matthais Mollner

Tanga Water Fund

Tanga, Tanzania

Phase: Feasibility

Nature-based Solutions: Agricultural BMPs

Water Security Challenge: Water Quality

Tanga city relies almost exclusively on the Zigi river for its domestic, commercial, and industrial water needs.  Its headwaters emanate from the East Usambara Mountains, which are globally recognized for their exceptional biodiversity and species endemism.  However, land-use changes due to human expansion have led to the deterioration of water quality.  Sustainable land- management practices will improve water quality while also enhancing livlihoods and reduce pressure on ecosystems. 

In 2020, TNC performed a study for the implementation of a water fund in Tanga, leading to the creation of a steering committee composed by local stakeholders, as well as the implementation of pilot projects. 

N$W is leveraging this work to support local stakeholders with the creation of a feazibilty and design study that will (i) prioritize NbS, (ii) design a long-term funding strategy, (iii)recommend the best suited legal and governance arrangements for the water fund, (iv) assess the local capacity building needs for the implementation of the identified NbS, and (v) design a implementation and monitoring and evaluation strategy. 

Kenya

Women in Water and Natural Resources Conservation (WWANC)

The Stakholder group and farmers getting ready to plant trees

TNC and WWANC in Kenya- Douglas Nyolei

Women in Water and Natural Resources Conservation (WWANC)

The Yala River Catchment, Kenya

Phase: Feasibility

Nature-based Solutions: Agriculture BMP's

Water Security Challenge: Dry Season Flows, Groundwater Recharge

WWANC has mobilized a set of key stakeholders into a steering committee to encourage better custodianship and more effective management of the Yala River Catchment and the water and natural resources it hosts. N4W is supporting WWANC and their steering committee with a Feasibility study and Business Case development to focus their WIP on the most impactful NbS, guide effective implementation, and support the design of a sustainable funding and governance arrangement.

Website: WWANC LinkedIn

Top view, close up of insect on green leaves

© TNC