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Cities seek investment capital for $9.5 billion in water infrastructure projects

We didn’t need World Water Week last week to remind us that too little and too much water can both be problems for fast-growing cities.

Cities like Chennai in China, which in December 2015 experienced its worst rainfall in 100 years, are now building out urban water infrastructure to boost resilience through conservation education, new stormwater management systems and other green infrastructure.

Quito, Ecuador, is looking for $800 million to build three hydropower stations and address contamination in rivers.

Eighty cities are currently seeking $9.5 billion for 89 water management projects, according to a new report from international non-profit CDP with infrastructure firm AECOM and backed by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Latin America is a center of urban water project finance, with cities seeking $6.7 billion. Projects in North America cities seek $2.7 billion (even before Hurricane Harvey).

Morgan Gillespy, head of CDP’s water program, says cities and companies are facing up to the threat of flooding, “putting the tipping point for a sustainable economy in reach.” The McKinsey Global Institute estimates $7.5 trillion of water-related investment will be needed globally in the next 15 years.

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