SYMP 18-1
Securing clean water and reducing flood risk for cities with investments in watershed services

Thursday, August 13, 2015: 8:00 AM
309, Baltimore Convention Center
Robert I. McDonald, The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA
Josh Goldstein, Central Science, The Nature Conservancy, Fort Collins, CO
Beth Tellman, Geographical Science and Urban Planning, Arizona State University, tempe, AZ

Multinational development banks and national governments have begun to appreciate the value of investing in watershed protection for the delivery of water to cities and the reduction of flood risk, but they have lacked tools for evaluating the potential return on investment of natural infrastructure. This talk presents an analysis done to inform the Latin American Conservation Council, which serves to prioritize investment in “water funds” in Latin America.


We briefly discuss the results of a continental assessment that ranks the 70 largest cities in Latin America based on the potential for natural infrastructure to mitigate water quality, stormwater, and riverine flood risks. We then focus the majority of the talk on how we tailored the assessment to the needs of decision makers in Latin America, and how our city rankings were used by decision makers.