GREENWICH, Conn., APRIL 14, 2023 — This morning Foundation House, the creative philanthropic mission based center based in Greenwich Connecticut, held a convening to learn about water issues and opportunities. The discussion was led by Marc Robert, COO and Partner at Water Asset Management, a global investor in water companies and assets ensuring water availability and quality, and Dr. Upmanu Lall, Director of the Columbia Water Center, a leader in the assessment, understanding and resolution of the most pressing global water issues. Richard Zimmerman, Executive Director of Foundation House, moderated the panel.
With the growing population and changing climate, many regions are facing water scarcity and quality issues. During the session, Marc Robert highlighted that this is a critical time for the whole world regarding water stress and underscored that “Water is the asset that will define the future of nations.” Investing in water has become more critical due to aging infrastructure, water scarcity, and an increasing demand for fresh water. Currently, only 0.5% of the earth's water remains available as freshwater, making it a scarce resource. Moreover, the water infrastructure is aging, underfunded, and cannot withstand severe weather patterns, leading to its collapse. However, this realization presents an opportunity for investors to upgrade the water infrastructure and invest in companies committed to solving water scarcity problems. Private investment can help accelerate innovation and development in this field. Additionally, governments and businesses are increasingly recognizing the importance of sustainable water management practices, creating opportunities for private investors to partner with these stakeholders and provide valuable solutions. Dr Lall emphasizes that “We are at a historic time where a wave of infrastructure investments in water is overdue and the rules of operation need to be rewritten given unprecedented climate stresses and changing social values. I expect significant investments and radically new system architecture and operation models to emerge and help meet the needs of all.” Investment areas include water technology firms, water utilities, water industry companies, and funds focusing on a portfolio of companies that are addressing water-related issues. For more information please visit: Water Asset Management Columbia Water Center