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Watershed Finance Models: Comparing Structure, Scalability and Scope


In this webinar, we will hear about two water fund models that differ in both the types of watersheds that they seek to protect and the types of finance they seek to leverage. We will then discuss the lessons learned from each model and compare their potential for scale and replication in different types of geographic settings.

Ashley Allen Jones (i2 Capital) will present her work with the Revolving Water Fund, an innovative conservation finance model that aligns the interests of farmers, conservationists, municipalities, regulators and impact investors to address conservation on a watershed scale.  The model, piloted in the Brandywine-Christina Watershed in Pennsylvania and Delaware, invests in structural agricultural BMPs in partnership with farmers and conservation organizations, and then transfers such reductions to municipal entities and water companies as a mechanism for water quality compliance. In so doing, the Revolving Water Fund creates a sustained pool of capital to fund priority agriculture-based pollution reduction strategies. 

Spencer Meyer (Highstead Foundation, Sebago Clean Waters Initiative) will introduce the Sebago Clean Waters initiative, a conservation collaborative and water fund serving the Greater Portland, Maine region in an effort to secure permanently the forests that naturally filter the drinking water for 1/6th of Maine residents. Working with conservation NGOs, land trusts, businesses and the major water utility, the Sebago Clean Waters is connecting upstream forest landowners with downstream beneficiaries. Spencer will share Sebago Clean Waters' creation story, some milestones, and discuss some ongoing roadblocks left to be navigated.