In partnership with Earth Economics, WaterNow Alliance has published a new detailed guide on how to finance green and distributed infrastructure. Distributed infrastructure (DI) refers to technologies – e.g.,high-efficiency appliances, irrigation controllers, rainwater collection vessels, turf change out, permeable pavements, etc. – that are distributed across several locations, like businesses, homes, streets, and parks. Many, if not most, water utilities nationwide have implemented various rebate and financial incentive programs to encourage consumer adoption of DI measures. Currently, these programs are primarily paid for out of operating cash, severely limiting the level of potential benefit DI programs can offer to effectively address various water management, supply, and quality issues. As explained in WaterNow Executive Director Cynthia Koehler’s three-part series, a recent clarification of government accounting standards resulting from a successful WaterNow policy initiative makes it possible for public water providers to use municipal bond proceeds to take DI programs to scale.
This new primer – a next step in our ongoing campaign to foster widespread adoption of innovative decentralized water management solutions – is designed to walk water leaders through the process of how they can use the clarified accounting standards and debt-finance DI programs in their communities and service areas. The primer includes information decision-makers need to effectively advocate for DI solutions along with the detailed information management and finance staff may need to move forward on such an initiative.