The challenge:

Clean water is the foundation of every community. Every person and every organism on earth needs clean water to live. Every job relies on water services. The primary goal then of every water and wastewater utility is to have clean and sustainable water resources to support their communities. However, as water infrastructure ages and public funds become scarce, the ability to deliver safe drinking water and protect local waterways has increasingly become more expensive and challenging.

For water agencies, frequent extreme weather events like severe droughts, storms, and floods further strain the already crumbling infrastructure, and lead to toxic health risks resulting from water contaminants like lead and radium and water-borne bacteria like legionella.

Although utility leaders have a desire to embrace change and improve performance, too many of them — particularly those in smaller and distressed jurisdictions — are hard-pressed to deliver even the most basic core services, let alone evaluate, select and finance novel approaches.  Moreover, with no capital to spare or room for error, the capacity to innovate – even with the prospect of better results and reduced costs – is severely limited by a lack of time, funds and expertise.

What can be done?

Innovations in governance, finance, technology and management offer the potential for local water agencies to improve service in every respect. Local agencies can adopt governance models of proven performance, financial tools that support low-income customers and reduce risk, technologies that deliver better services at low cost – and the management, personnel skills and tools that will become the foundation of future success.  Field-tested approaches and innovative technology can help utilities foster new relationships with their peers, customers, ratepayers and taxpayers, improve accountability and transparency, and deliver real-time performance improvements.  Today we can build water systems that work more efficiently and effectively to protect and provide for the residents they serve, while also saving taxpayers money.

How Moonshot Missions is meeting the challenge:

Moonshot Missions is a nonprofit collective of water sector professionals which matches underserved utilities with resources, tools and techniques for greater success. We have decades of experience in transforming water and wastewater utilities. The goal and purpose of Moonshot Missions is to deliver both leadership and proven solutions to our water utility clients in order to achieve improved performance and reduced costs. Selected utilities will receive step-by-step support to identify challenges, consider solutions, leverage financing tools and navigate through each stage of implementation. We lead utilities from the start of an initial idea to the completion of a project, enabling utilities to achieve their moonshot while transforming the utility and surrounding community.

Moonshot Missions utilities will have access to:

  • Practices and technologies that will deliver better services at a lower cost and improve environmental performance
  • Governance and community engagement models of proven performance
  • Financial tools that support community affordability and generate savings and/or additional revenue
  • The world’s top water experts’ advice and skills

Moonshot Missions passionately believes any utility, no matter how big or small, no matter how well funded or not, can achieve their moonshot.

This project aligns with the following Sustainable Development Goals

  • Clean water and sanitation
  • Industry, innovation, and infrastructure
  • Responsible consumption and production
About the Sustainable Development Goals
See all of our alumni projects