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Colorado River Basin Fund

Colorado River Basin Fund

Offering Overview

The Colorado River Basin Fund is a private equity fund that seeks to invest in innovative water technologies addressing water scarcity and quality issues in the basin.

We believe innovative technologies and business models offer promising water solutions for the basin and beyond.

The American West is now among the world’s most water-stressed regions and is facing impacts to business growth, economic development, social well-being, and ecosystem health.

With a bias for action, our team of experienced professionals will identify and invest in forward-thinking companies addressing water challenges in the basin. We have established, long-term relationships within the US and international water sectors for deal sourcing access, and our networks allow for exposure to water technology companies at their earliest stages.

The Colorado River Basin Fund is the first placed-based water-focused investment fund in the United States.

Water is an everyone, everywhere problem. Action is needed now to protect it. There's too much at stake to sit back and wait for someone else to come up with a solution.

Fund Focus

The fund seeks to identify and invest in the following challenges:

For nearly two decades, the Colorado River Basin has been in an extended period of drought – a prolonged period of abnormally low precipitation. This extended period of drought is actually just one factor in the water stress and scarcity currently being experienced in the Colorado River Basin. The eight US states that rely upon the Colorado River Basin are feeling these impacts due to increasing demand for water from agriculture, cities, and manufacturing needs while also striving to preserve the recreational and ecosystem value of the river system.

Water scarcity and over-allocation are not the only challenges facing the Colorado River Basin. The water quality of the region has also been of increasing concern. Mining and agricultural runoff have led to poor surface and groundwater quality which also impacts the availability of water for drinking water and manufacturing. The region can no longer afford to extract water for a one time use and then discharge the water – we are moving towards increasing water reuse and recycling as we assign greater value to the availability of water in the basin.

Of water withdrawn or diverted from the Basin, the agricultural sector is by far the largest consumer, making up an estimated 70 percent of all Colorado River Basin water. It is imperative that we move to smart agriculture which includes the adoption of digital technologies to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of water resources and nutrients while increasing crop productivity. Smart agriculture coupled with the increase in urban vertical indoor agriculture solutions can provide more sustainable, resilient, healthy, accessible, and affordable food for an ever-increasing population in the region.

Just as our homes and cities have adopted technologies to more efficiently manage energy, we are now seeing the adoption of smart home technologies to more efficiently use water. Digital technologies can reduce the demand for water in homes and for irrigation while also proactively monitor for pipe leaks which can save water and money from damages. We are also now exploring how to deploy digitally connected utilities to improve the sustainable and resilient delivery of water to homes, neighborhoods, and cities.

The fund seeks to identify and invest in the following types of technologies:

Growth Strategy

Increased technology need and adoption

As water infrastructure ages, demand grows, and the various stressors from climate change continue, we believe that the public sector and private industry will increasingly embrace technology and innovative business models to ensure adequate water quality and supplies throughout the basin.

Scale Potential

While the basin provides significant opportunity to commercialize new technology, it’s not unique in its thirst for limited water resources. We view the basin as a strategic “testbed” to determine the feasibility of emerging technological solutions for subsequent application in the global water sector.

Reasons to Consider Investing

The Team

We know water. The Colorado River Basin Fund is led by an experienced management team with established, close, and long-term relationships within the US and international water sectors. With a bias for action, our team will identify and invest in forward-thinking companies addressing water challenges in the basin.

Will Sarni   

Founder & CEO of Water Foundry. 30+ years of water sector experience. Internationally recognized thought leader on water strategy and innovation.

Fritz Ganz   
Environmental & natural resources attorney with 20+ years’ experience in transactions & litigation. Adjunct Professor of Environmental Law, University of Denver.

Kristina Feller 

Kristina is a leader in operations, investment finance and business strategy. She led execution of over $8B of real estate development, infrastructure development and investment funds in over fifteen countries over the last 10 years.

Paul Tencher   

Has served as a senior advisor to 5 U.S. Senators in public policy positions including climate, resiliency and infrastructure. Managed multi-million dollar P&L for international communications firm. MBA, University of Notre Dame.

United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals Alignment

SDG Goal 3 - Good Health and well being

SDG Goal 6 - Clean water and sanitation

SDG Goal 7 - Alternative and clean energy

SDG Goal 9 - Industry innovation and infrastructure

SDG Goal 11 - Sustainable Cities

SDG Goal 12 - Responsible consumption and production

SDG Goal 13 - Climate action

SDG Goal 15 - Life on land

Basin News

The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced through a partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
US Department of Agriculture, Brad Rippey, 3/4/21


Climate change is drying out the headwaters, and everybody in the Colorado River Basin needs to be concerned." - Andy Mueller, Colorado River Water Conservation District Manager

Climate Change is hitting the Colorado River 'incredibly fast and incredibly hard'
AZ Central, Ian James, 1/1/21


Although the final climate data for 2020 just arrived and the new year is just weeks old, forecasters are already filled with apprehension about what lies ahead for the West this year."

Climate change ravaged the West with heat and drought last year. Will 2021 be worse?
Inside Climate News, Judy Fahys, 2/8/21


More must be done to protect Colorado River from drought, federal report says. Millions of people in seven states and Mexico rely on the river for drinking water and growing crops."

More must be done to protect Colorado River from drought
The Associated Press, Felicia Fonseca, 12/18/20


A new study from Columbia University says the region has now entered into a climate-driven megadrought — possibly the worst in modern history."

Megadrought emerging in western U.S. could be the worst in 1,200 years, study finds
CBS News, Jeff Berardelli, 4/17/20


Right now things are looking pretty bad... It's been really dry." - Warren Turkett, a natural resource analyst for the Colorado River Commission of Nevada.

Shrinking Lake Mead inches closer to water shortage declaration
Las Vegas Review-Journal, Blake Algar, 1/31/21



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