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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

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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.

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