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DC Water De-risks Innovation With Impact Finance

28 November 2017
Research Note

DC Water, one of the 850 water & wastewater utility networks across the U.S. with a combined sewer system, has deployed an innovative financing tool to minimize risk and fund infrastructure projects.

Under a 2005 EPA consent decree, the utility launched a US$2.6 billion initiative to construct three underground storage tanks to store stormwater during peak flow, and reduce untreated discharge.

However, in 2015, DC Water renegotiated its consent decree to explore offsetting the need of a capital intensive storage tunnel with over 490 acres of green infrastructure. With approval, the utility has partnered with Quantified Ventures to launch the first Environmental Impact Bond (EIB) in the U.S.

Given the increasing number of large weather events and combined sewer overflows, the emergence of EIBs and green infrastructure solutions are expected to scale.


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