It’s hard to get people — whether investors or end-users — to pay for water solutions. Our Climate & Water Toolkit, supported by Invest Vancouver, is intended to help water tech companies identify and articulate their climate value proposition as climate change increasingly drives public and private sector investment and impact priorities.
Water is inextricably linked to climate change. Water and wastewater treatment, distribution, and management are significant contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. Floods, droughts, and storms as a result of climate change are expected to cost the Canadian economy $139 billion in the next 30 years, presenting risks to healthcare, energy systems, and infrastructure, and exacerbating social inequities. Ultimately, climate change cannot be solved without addressing water issues.
Water and Climate Facts
“…water is both a climate risk and a critical resource for countries that are looking to boost their adaptive capacity. But water is often invisible in the climate conversation.” – UNFCC, 2022
While rarely talked about, water-related greenhouse gas emissions and energy use across multiple sectors account for a significant share of Canadian and global totals.
- >10% of global GHG emissions are estimated to come from water-related categories. 8% of these emissions are related to water and land use. 2% of global GHG emissions are attributed to water utilities, and this figure is projected to more than double by 2040.
- 32% of municipal GHG emissions and 38% of municipal energy use in Ontario come from water utilities.
- 50% of energy-based emissions in wastewater can be eliminated with existing technologies. ~95% of this is achievable at zero or negative cost.
Positioning water solutions through the lens of addressing climate risk — securing clean water access, adapting to drought or flood conditions, or helping to meet net zero emissions targets — can help highlight their importance to investors, end-users, and governments who are prioritizing resources toward addressing climate change.
Water-Climate Connections: Value Propositions
Water technology can provide solutions to climate-related risks. The 7 value propositions below, highlight opportunities for water technologies to advance climate mitigation and adaptation priorities.
- Energy Use Reduction
- Clean Energy Generation
- GHG Emission Reduction
- Nature-Based Carbon Sequestration
- Mitigation of Extreme Weather Risk
- Mitigation of Water Supply Risk
- Mitigation of Water Quality Risk
The Climate and Water Toolkit dives deeper into each value proposition, exploring technology applications and action pathways, and highlighting case studies from leading Canadian water tech companies like Livestock Water Recycling, Novion, and Rainstick.