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Billions In Private Capital Pledged To U.S. Water Infrastructure

By Sara Jerome
A major water summit held by the White House in March drew commitments of $4 billion in private capital for U.S. water infrastructure.
“The White House has turned to the private sector in an attempt to mend America’s creaking water infrastructure system, securing $4bn in commitments from businesses and instituting a new plan to help deal with crises such as the Flint lead poisoning disaster and the California drought,” the Daily Mail reported.
The event saw more than 150 businesses and other groups, “commit funding to upgrade critical infrastructure,” the report said. The White House announced the commitments in a release, including:
Nearly $4 billion in private capital committed to investment in a broad range of water-infrastructure projects nationwide. This includes $1.5 billion from Ultra Capital to finance decentralized and scalable water-management solutions, and $500 million from Sustainable Water to develop water reclamation and reuse systems.
More than $1 billion from the private sector over the next decade to conduct research and development into new technologies. This includes $500 million from GE to fuel innovation, expertise, and global capabilities in advanced water, wastewater, and reuse technologies.
Public and private sector entities pledged to help with national water sustainability goals. For instance, Xylem pledged to “help drive innovation with an intention to invest at least $300 million in water focused research and development activities through 2018,” according to a document released by the White House.
Why now?
The White House said “recent events, including record breaking drought in the West, severe flooding in the Southeast, and the water-quality crisis in Flint, MI, have elevated a national dialogue on the state of our Nation’s water resources and infrastructure.”
It said the water summit was the first of its kind held at the White House. It aimed to “shine a spotlight on the importance of cross-cutting, creative solutions to solving the water problems of today.”
The White House said “private companies responded to the Administration’s call to action and today are announcing new steps to invest in the Nation’s water future, including nearly $4 billion in financing for water-infrastructure projects.”
For more stories about public and private water funding, visit Water Online’s Funding Solutions Center.