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Our research shows that natural infrastructure can provide considerable economic, financial, and risk reduction benefits as part of both project design and basin-level management. However, decision makers need strong analytics to identify, justify, and prioritize sound investments in natural infrastructure. WRI pioneered the Green-Gray Assessment—a framework for applying decision analysis methods to portfolios of natural infrastructure investment opportunities. We offer both rapid and deep-dive assessments tailored to key decision makers and potential investors. We are also invested in building the capacity of key institutions to conduct and interpret their own Green-Gray Assessments.

Our team is currently evaluating the Return on Investment (ROI) of natural infrastructure portfolios in cities across the world, including projects such as

  • Forest conservation for drinking water in Portland, Maine
  • Forest restoration to reduce sedimentation in Brazil and Colombia
  • Conserving and restoring aquifer recharge zones in Mexico,
  • Forest restoration for fire risk reduction in Colorado and California.

By better understanding and communicating the financial and social rationale for investing in natural infrastructure, water-dependent companies and cities will be better equipped to incorporate these systems into their water security plans. 

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