evaluation fundamental to the structure of the EIB. Not only does the EIB necessitate measurement of captured stormwater and avoided runoff—the primary outcome to determine performance—but also stipulates the monitoring of secondary outcomes like job creation.
help public works departments meet the growing infrastructure financing gap and catalyze greater deployment of high-impact projects. Benjamin Cohen can be reached at (202) 734-3712 or cohen@ quantifiedventures.com.
Beyond DC Water: The future of Environmental Impact Bonds The total impact investment market is currently valued at $114 billion, but impact investors frequently cite challenges around a lack of both viable transactions and impact evaluation. At the same time, many public works departments struggle to deploy projects that are high-impact, but may be seen as too risky. EIBs are a tool that can help solve both ends of this equation, and building off of lessons learned from DC Water, new municipalities are exploring their potential to unstick “stuck” problems. For example, last summer, 25 cities across the U.S. competed to win the support of the Rockefeller Foundation in structuring EIBs not just for green infrastructure, but other resilience-building projects such as affordable housing, microgrids, and alternative power generation. The Kresge Foundation is supporting communities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed develop EIBs to mitigate water quality issues in the Bay. Municipalities located near agricultural areas are interested in EIBs to test whether paying upstream farmers to implement better management practices is more cost effective at managing nutrient runoff than investing in additional treatment facilities. And coastal communities may benefit from EIBs to finance wetland projects, linking payments to the success of outcomes related to land restoration and flood risk reduction.
Upcoming Click, Listen & Learn webinar: “Innovative Financing for Water Resources” Water resource infrastructure financing faces many challenges in today’s market, from impacts due to promoted and executed efficiencies of operations by customers to mandates for pollution reduction through implementation of green stormwater infrastructure. DC Water’s Use of Green Environmental Bonds and small communities’ approach for access to State Revolving Funds and P3 will be discussed. February 22, 2018 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Central (800) 848-APWA or www.apwa.net Bridge closed sign
NATIONAL PUBLIC WORKS WEEK
Future EIBs may build off the DC Water example in other ways, for example by siting the location of green infrastructure or other projects based on community impacts and not just hydrologic considerations, and by issuing EIBs in public, rather than private, placements, helping municipalities access a much broader base of investors, and potentially lowering rates. All these new directions may improve the effectiveness of EIBs to
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February 2018 issue of the APWA Reporter, the official magazine of the American Public Works Association