Waterfund LLC, which provides financial risk management to the water industry, signed an agreement with International Business Machines Corp. to develop a water cost index. Terms weren’t disclosed.
“Our initiative with IBM Research will finally bring real financial transparency to the water sector,” Chief Executive Officer Scott Rickards said today in a statement. By calculating the unsubsidized cost of freshwater production using IBM analytics, New York-based Waterfund can offer “flexibly-tailored financial tools to investors in water infrastructure.”
According to the United Nations, water use has been growing at more than twice the rate of population increase over the last century as urbanization and climate change accelerate demands on supplies. An estimated 41 percent of the world’s population now lives in water-stressed areas.
Water utilities face the most obvious financial risks from supply disruptions, though industries in which water availability is critical include the mining, beverage, chemical and energy sectors, Waterfund said.