Matt Damon and WaterEquity Are Investing in the Future of Water and Sanitation

Apr 10, 2024 10:00 AM ET

by Elan Emanuel, WaterEquity (which emerged out of and was cofounded by actor Matt Damon and Gary White)

Access to safe water and sanitation is a fundamental human right under binding international law. Yet today, a global water crisis still persists. 2.2 billion people—or 1 in 4—still lack access to safe water and 3.5 billion people—or 2 in 5—lack access to safely managed sanitation. While gains have been made over several decades, the effects of climate change have become a large and looming factor, halting progress made. Though the role of the public sector remains paramount in addressing the crisis, private impact investment has recently also emerged as a powerful tool.

Investing in Household Water and Sanitation Solutions

Impact investing focuses on generating positive social and environmental impact while seeking financial returns. In the realm of water and sanitation, investment plays a pivotal role in supporting innovative solutions, especially at the household level. Among low-income consumers, at least 600 million people could access water and sanitation products, services, and upgrades if financing was available, equating to what WaterEquity estimates as $35 billion of market demand over the next decade.

WaterEquity has approached this market opportunity through an investment strategy focused on providing debt capital to financial institutions in emerging markets to expand water and sanitation lending. These financial institutions use this capital to grow their water and sanitation microloan portfolios, as well as to on-lend to local enterprises delivering water and sanitation innovations, products, and services. Since our start in 2016, WaterEquity has deployed more than $360 million in capital to this strategy across four private investment funds, reaching more than 5 million people with increased access to safe water and sanitation.

Read the full article about WaterEquity here, which emerged out of and was cofounded by actor Matt Damon and Gary White -