Ash Center’s Stephen Goldsmith Releases Report Calling on Alternative Financing for US Water Infrastructure Projects

January 11, 2017

Stephen Goldsmith, the Daniel Paul Professor and Director of the Innovations in American Government Program at Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, today released a report highlighting how the private sector should be engaged to help address America’s aging water resource infrastructure.

Tapping Private Financing and Delivery to Modernize America’s Federal Water Resources” is based on themes derived from various roundtable discussions convened by Professor Goldsmith in which stakeholders and senior federal leaders discussed the current challenges facing water resource infrastructure from across the country and how innovative finance and delivery approaches, such as public-private partnership (P3), can strengthen modernization and expansion efforts.

The report explores important strategies and potential policy solutions to enable private financing and delivery that transfers risk away from taxpayers, accelerates project schedules, and enables life-cycle efficiency in critical U.S. water resource projects. To address the nation’s crumbling infrastructure while benefiting users and taxpayers alike, the report explores removing obstacles for P3 financing for water infrastructure, reexamining current budget-scoring practices, and providing support to non-federal sponsors.

“A priority focus should be kept on the nation’s critical water resources, which are in desperate need of investment,” said Professor Goldsmith. “We have an opportunity now to combine new initiatives, appropriations and authorities with enabling changes to federal policies and regulations that deter investment and inhibit innovation.”

About the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
The Roy and Lila Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation advances excellence and innovation in governance and public policy through research, education, and public discussion. Three major programs support our mission: the Program on Democratic Governance, the Innovations in Government Program, and the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia. For more information, visit

Contact Information:
Daniel Harsha
Associate Director for Communications
Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
Harvard Kennedy School