Water Sustainability Investments Amid Climate Crisis - Insights from Mridula Ramesh  - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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The CLIMAFIX Summit is India’s largest climate startup summit, organized by EAI & Energy Consortium – IIT Madras. Mridula Ramesh(Moderator) shares her thoughts on Water Sustainability at CLIMAFIX Summit 2022, Nov 22, 2022, at the IIT Madras Research Park, Chennai.

The panel participants were:

Chandrasekaran J – Watsan Envirotech – Provide electricity-free water purifiers and rapid toilet solutions, all without traditional materials. (Watch their presentation – here)

Chollin Selvan – E Sandhai- Solve the Supply/Demand Problem for Farmers (Watch their presentation – here)

Jessy DCruz – KarioT – Smart Water Revolution for economical & sustainable living  (Watch their presentation – here)

Mallesh T M – CultYvate – Enhance agriculture productivity for marginal farmers  (Watch their presentation – here)

Rajat Kabra – Uniwater Solutions – Smarter solutions for your water problems (Watch their presentation – here)

Vibha TripathiBoon (formerly Swajal) (Watch their presentation – here

In the dynamic landscape of climate-tech investment, where sectors like carbon mitigation and electric mobility often steal the spotlight, the importance of water sustainability can sometimes be overshadowed. However, a closer look at the discussions from CLIMAFIX 2022 reveals the intricacies and untapped potential within the realm of water sustainability investing.

The Climate-Tech Landscape: A Tale of Two Sectors

  • A Shift in Focus: At CLIMAFIX 2022, attention was drawn to the noticeable decline in attendance for discussions on water sustainability compared to other sectors like carbon mitigation and electric mobility.
  • Investment Attractiveness: Carbon mitigation and electric mobility startups often enjoy more investment due to their perceived profitability and shorter timeframes for returns.

The Silent Crisis: Water Sustainability Challenges

  • Climate Change Impacts: Water serves as the primary conduit through which climate change manifests, leading to rising sea levels, intensified floods, prolonged droughts, and increased prevalence of waterborne diseases.
  • Economic Toll: The economic repercussions of water-related extreme events are substantial, as evidenced by India’s $87 billion loss in 2020 alone.

Valuing Water: Unlocking Economic Potential

  • Reframing the Narrative: While carbon emissions dominate climate discussions, water’s fundamental role often goes unrecognized. Proper valuation and pricing of water could mitigate risks and unlock significant economic opportunities.
  • Global Examples: Countries like Israel and Singapore have successfully implemented effective water management practices, resulting in enhanced resilience and economic growth.

Policy Hurdles: The Challenge of Government Support

  • Lack of Policy Frameworks: Unlike sectors like electric mobility, water sustainability struggles to garner comparable policy support, hindering investment and innovation.
  • Investment Implications: The absence of supportive policies poses challenges for scaling water sustainability initiatives and addressing pressing challenges effectively.

Seizing Opportunity: Angel Investors in Water Sustainability

  • Early-Stage Potential: Angel investors with an interest in sustainability have a unique opportunity to shape the future of water sustainability investing.
  • Emerging Opportunities: As policy frameworks evolve and awareness grows, early-stage investors can capitalize on emerging opportunities before the sector becomes saturated with private equity investments.

The insights derived from CLIMAFIX 2022 underscore the critical importance of water sustainability in climate resilience. By acknowledging the challenges, advocating for proper valuation of water, and seizing investment opportunities, stakeholders can collectively pave the way for a more sustainable and resilient future—one where water is not just a resource, but a catalyst for economic growth and environmental stewardship.

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About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.

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