Building a bridge between global capital and the water crisis

SDG #6: Clean water and sanitation. The amount of money the poor pay in healthcare, lost wages, and lost economic opportunity in order to access water is nearly equal to the amount needed to solve the problem.

SDG #6: Clean water and sanitation. The amount of money the poor pay in healthcare, lost wages, and lost economic opportunity in order to access water is nearly equal to the amount needed to solve the problem. WaterEquity, co-founded by actor Matt Damon, has an innovative way of unlocking investor dollars to focus on solutions for the poor while providing solid returns. Members from their team as well as Dibyajyoti Pattanaik from Annapurna Finance in India join Liz and Steve to discuss.

Episode Notes

In this episode you’ll hear about:  

  • How access rates to clean water and working sewage systems are going up, but not as fast as they need to in order to reach the goal’s mission.
  • Why water scarcity could threaten 700 million people by 2030.
  • Whether climate change is a factor and how water demand and flooding are further stressing clean water supplies.
  • How WaterEquity, co-founded by Academy Award winner Matt Damon, supports entrepreneurs and financial institutions that provide clean water and sanitation in developing countries.
  • Why it’s not just Infrastructure that’s needed to expand water and toilet access, but it’s more about the financing.

Related story: Water, water everywhere — so it’s time for you to drink

United Nations SDG#6 Information

WaterEquity.org

Annapurna Finance 

Generosity

BoxedWater 

Guest Bios

Gary White is co-founder and CEO of WaterEquity, an asset manager that supports entrepreneurs helping spread clean water and sanitation in developing countries. He’s also the CEO and co-founder of Water.org, which also developed a WaterCredit Initiative that creates new financing options for families living in poverty to meet their water needs.

Geneveive Edens is director of impact at WaterEquity, where she develops policies and tools and is involved at all stages of the investment process. Previously, she was director of research at the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs and spent several years living in Tanzania where she worked for the coffee importer Sustainable Harvest. 

Paul O’Connell is president of WaterEquity and manages its day-to-day activities. He spent more than 20 years as president and managing partner of FDO Partners, LLC, managing currency and equity portfolios for sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, and other institutional investors. He has spoken at TED about using the capital markets to help fund sustainable development in emerging and frontier markets. 

Dibyajyoti Pattanaik (who also goes by DJ) is the managing director of Annapurna Finance, a microfinance institution in Bhubaneswar, India.