Water stewardship: increase business participation in reducing shared water risk

Water is an essential part of the manufacture, delivery and use of products and services. Almost every company is affected by uncertainties and dilemmas associated with their water consumption.

According to 2030 Water Resources Group projections, without improvements in the way water is managed and used, the world could face a 40% supply gap by 2030. Businesses need to assess their water risk exposure in order to share in the implementation of sound water stewardship strategies at the watershed level.

The Challenge

Water scarcity affects two-thirds of the world’s population. As competing demands for water continue to rise (from agriculture, households, energy generation, industrial use, ecosystems, etc.), the effects of climate change are exacerbating the challenges associated with water quality and availability. This creates new risks for businesses, governments, communities and the environment.

The Business Case

Freshwater is not always available when and where people, businesses and ecosystems need it. Water constraints are a potential multi-billion dollar risk for businesses worldwide. But corporations can seize opportunities to offer sustainable water solutions via the goods, services, innovations and technology they provide.

The Business Solution

Our water stewardship business solution aims to accelerate business movement worldwide, from risk assessment to the implementation of response strategies at the watershed level, in collaboration with other key stakeholders. The business solution objectives are to:

  • Increase awareness: Strengthen the widespread application of water risk assessment tools (notably Global Water Tool and India Water Tool) and stakeholder mapping to implement response strategies at the watershed level;
  • Enable: Learn from best practice examples in the context of business contributions to the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 6;
  • Lead and demonstrate: For example, by identifying collaboration toolkits, conducting collective valuation exercises, establishing key performance indicators to measure watershed specific actions, and so on.