SDG
UNLEASH

Solution catalogue

WaterLink

50% of Brazilians lack adequate sanitation. Governance is highly fragmented, each of Brazil’s 5,570 cities are responsible for their own water and sanitation systems - many lack funds and compete for resources. Our solution is an NFP that provides a data visualization tool to help cities see collective impact of sanitation projects and facilitate consortiums. It then connects them to funders to enable projects with the most impact and profitability, targeted at cities with the greatest needs.

Problem
A lack of adequate sanitation results in untreated sewage being discharged to waterways. This has serious consequences for human health, the environment, and water resources. 4 billion people don’t have adequate sanitation. Fragmentation in governance has resulted in sanitation targets worldwide falling well behind other development targets, including water supply. Sanitation is fundamental to empowering the most vulnerable and achieving the SDGs.

In Brazil, sanitation decisions are made at the local level but its effects are felt regionally. Local governments lack capacity to access funding programs for their own projects. Collaborating regionally enables the aggregation of resources, developing more efficient projects and maximizing impact.

Solution
Sanitation is a regional issue because of spillover effects (indirect impacts) facilitated by shared water sources. WaterLink (WL) enables local government to approach sanitation exactly as that: regionally and collaboratively. Using a data visualization tool based on available geographic, water and sanitation, and population data, WL generates potential consortiums of local governments before connecting them to funding pools both in Brazil and internationally, increasing the chances that project proposals reflect bankable and cost-efficient projects. Linking cities and funders creates maximum added value for both, increasing Brazil’s sanitation access. WL presents funders with potential consortiums so that they can fund risk assessments and project feasibility studies. By focusing on funders’ needs, WL significantly increasing the chances of sanitation projects being funded

We have two users: cities and funders. WL visually shows local governments the value of collaborating with neighbors, increasing impact, decreasing costs, and incentivizing collaboration. We have spoken to funders (World Bank or the Gates Foundation) who have confirmed their interest in identifying the most needed projects with reliable data and technically sound design, as would be provided by WL

Innovation
Our solution is unique because it offers a way for funders and local governments to visualize indirect impacts of sanitation and access to funding. There is no tool that showcases direct and indirect impacts of sanitation infrastructure or any service creating incentives for inter-city collaboration

Since the service provided is unique, there is currently no competition WL in Brazil. WL’s easy to use platform is a step change in collaboration between local sanitation providers

There is a lot of data available about Brazil’s sanitation infrastructure, but it is difficult to interpret in its current format. Rigid jurisdictional boundaries and protectionist cities governments reduce incentives for collaboration. By analyzing and showcasing the data we believe this can change

Impact

Our impact is to significantly increase the number of Brazilians with access to sanitation, by boosting construction of infrastructure. Our pilot project aims at consorting with four cities, reaching 48,000 people. In two years our goal is to achieve 192000 people through four consortiums, growing exponentially from such numbers once cities are able to see the advantages of accessing our services. Later on, our solution has the potential of expanding to other emerging markets with low sanitation rates

Next Steps
Further research is required to define benchmarks and refine our pilot project in four cities in Espírito Santo. We will start seeking potential seed funding for the of the platform and for the 4 consortium projects. Following the pilot, WL can be scaled up with greater cost efficiency

Immediate Requests
Connections to Funding Opportunities
Seed Investment