The WBCSD India Water Tool

India faces the daunting challenge of water scarcity which imposes significant risks on health, agriculture and industrial operations. Water tables are falling throughout this heavily groundwater-dependent country, yet industrialization and urbanization are accelerating.  Forecasts estimate that India will face a 50% gap in demand and supply by the year 2030 (Source: 2030 Water Resources Global Water Supply and Demand Model; Baseline agricultural production based on IFPRI IMPACT-WATER base case).   

There is an increasing understanding among leading companies that water is a shared resource with finite volumes resulting in collective risk. Water can only be sustainably managed if stakeholders across sectors take leadership and responsibility, and if water data is collected, maintained and publicly available.

A customized version of the Global Water Tool, the India Water Tool (IWT) is a free online tool designed to help water users in India respond to these challenges by measuring and mapping water risks at a meaningful scale. The tool encourages stakeholders to take action, whether at national, watershed or plant level to support better water management by all.

First of its kind, version 1 of this country-specific tool was launched in July 2013. A 14-member working group coordinated by the WBCSD, including ten companies and three knowledge partners (the World Resources Institute, CII-Triveni Water Institute, and Skoll Global Threats Foundation), jointly built the new version of the tool, IWT 2.0 (launch on February 27th, 2015).

IWT 2.0 is a rare example of collaboration between key players to create a sustainable future for business, society and the environment through responsible water management. Indian government data on groundwater, surface-water and rainfall and the best available models of water stress from the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Columbia Water Center (CWC) are brought together within one easy-to-use online platform to help users assess water risk and prioritize sites for further analysis and action. This version presents a more holistic picture of the water situation by bringing in new and updated data sets and a GIS web platform that can overlay information at a meaningful scale for analysis and decision making. It displays greater compatibility with other water risk tools such as WRI’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas to allow for future convergence.

To access India Water Tool 2.0, visit www.indiawatertool.in.


What is the India Water Tool?

The tools allows users as companies, agencies, investors and others to perform a first level analysis of water risks by mapping their locations and water data usage against datasets and stress indicators.

It depicts water availability/stress/quality spatially through maps, figures and illustrations, and also generates a water inventory containing performance and risk indicators.

A first step towards improved water management, the analysis can then guide a deeper understanding of local communities’ water situations, and help prioritize actions for sustainable water management and develop holistic stewardship approaches. Follow up activities can include prioritization of action for high risk sites, detailed individual assessments at site level, internal environmental data-tracking, development of internal policy and guidelines, evaluation of new projects.

Why use the IWT?

The tool can help answer questions such as:

  • How many of my sites are in over-exploited or critical areas?
  • Is my site (or future site) in an area where the groundwater level is rising or declining?
  • What are the highest and lowest ground water levels in my area in the last 5 years?
  • Which of my sites are in areas where the concentration of inorganic contaminants (fluoride, chloride, nitrate, salinity, arsenic) in ground water is above permissible limits for drinking water?
  • What is the net groundwater availability and projected demand for groundwater in the areas where my sites are located?
  • What is the total annual rainfall at my sites?
  • What is the annual availability of surface water in the basin in which my site is located?
  • How many of my sites are in high risk areas as estimated by water stress indicators?


Key characteristics:

  • Spatial data developed by the Survey of India is used to determine the administrative units visualized and reported on.
  • Free and publicly available online:easy access to and analysis of comprehensive and critical data.
  • Reporting: Generates outputs (maps, spreadsheets, key metrics) that can be used to communicate internally and externally and report on a range of water-related indicators and metrics to different corporate disclosure initiatives including CDP, GRI, Dow Jones Sustainability Index and UN CEO Water Mandate.
  • Confidentiality: Outputs can be saved in the form of excel sheets/reports and are confidential to the user.

We welcome feedback at indiawatertool@wbcsd.org.

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