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Scaling Up Natural Infrastructure for Water and Disaster Risk Management

Suzanne Ozment, Associate, Natural Infrastructure for Water, World Resources Institute

Nov 26 2018 | 11:00am to 12:00pm PST Bren Hall 1414

Headshot of Suzanne Ozment
Suzanne Ozment

Suzanne works with business, financial institutions, and conservation organizations to find profitable strategies to protect and restore watersheds. Her work with the World Resources Institute in the United States and Latin America is sure to be highly relevant to many Bren students.
— Julia Lawson, Bren School PhD Student


Can society produce more cost-effective and resilient water services by integrating green infrastructure into their infrastructure systems?
To guide its appropriate use in mainstream infrastructure programs, green infrastructure must be as rigorously evaluated and carefully designed as gray projects. The World Resources Institute’s (WRI) Green Gray Assessment offers a flexible and replicable economic/financial analysis approach to evaluate the business case for integrating green infrastructure into water management plans.  WRI has applied the Green Gray Assessment in three locations in the United States and four cities in Latin America to promote discussion between green infrastructure project developers and their potential investors. When considered together, the case studies are revealing important biophysical and societal conditions that lead to green infrastructure success. These studies have also revealed important scientific knowledge gaps that must be closed to enable robust appraisal of green infrastructure.
This presentation will summarize some of WRI’s recent findings about green infrastructure’s value proposition and discuss how water-sector decision makers and investors have reacted to the new and growing evidence base. It will also propose some important steps to overcoming common barriers to project success.


Suzanne is an Associate with the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) Natural Infrastructure Initiative, where she researches the design of profitable strategies to protect and restore watersheds. Suzanne works with business, financial institutions, and conservation organizations to scope out smart green infrastructure investment opportunities, and to advance policies that enable strategic watershed management. Suzanne earned her Master of Environmental Management degree from Yale University and her B.A. in Environmental Science and Government from Lawrence University.

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