SNAPP TEAM:Water Security
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Our Challenge
Where can water funds (user investment protecting upstream watersheds and sources) benefit conservation, sustainable economic growth and human well-being?

Nearly one-third of people on Earth regularly struggle to find the water they need to survive — a problem that will only worsen as cities expand and the climate shifts. Water funds and other investments made by users to protect upstream watersheds and sources may be part of the solution, if wisely targeted. This working group’s novel methods guide and maximize the returns on major investments in nature.

Team Status
Team Critical Challenge

Work from this SNAPP team has produced a customizable “dashboard” that will enable key stakeholders such as the Latin American Conservation Council and Inter-American Development Bank to evaluate the strengths and limitations of watershed strategies in major cities throughout Latin America.

We’ve surfaced new data on source water protection, flood risk mitigation, and institutional enabling conditions that will help us identify the most promising cities for replicating and scaling up water funds.

Note: All linked solutions below will open in a new tab.

China water blueprint Technical report
City water map: Data for international water sources
Public database
Conserving nature for water security Interactive online tool
Degraded watersheds cost water utilities $5.4 billion per year
(Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)
Peer-reviewed paper
Enhancing water security with investments in watershed services
(Environmental Science and Policy)
Peer-reviewed paper
Estimates of Present and Future Flood Risk in the Conterminous United States
(Environmental Research Letters)
Peer-reviewed paper
Flood Risks Across the U.S. are Underestimated (in a Big Way)
(Cool Green Science)
Indicators for flood mitigation opportunities for 70 Latin American cities
Public database
One size does not fit all for Latin American water funds
(Ecosystem Services)
Peer-reviewed paper
Urban water blueprint Interactive online tool
Team Leaders
Beth Tellman
Yale University
Josh Goldstein
The Nature Conservancy
Rob McDonald
The Nature Conservancy
Team Members
Abel Mejia
Development Bank of Latin America
Adrian Vogl
Stanford University
Daniel Shemie
The Nature Conservancy
Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm
Inter-American Development Bank
Fernando Veiga
The Nature Conservancy
Jeffrey Cowan
The Nature Conservancy
Leah Bremer
Stanford University
Paulo Petry
The Nature Conservancy