A key approach advocated globally to improve water management is ‘water valuation’ coupled with charging the ‘full cost’ of using water through better pricing policies. Government regulations may also enforce, or at least encourage, valuation of water. In addition, growing stakeholder and supply chain demands are likely to grow as perceptions evolve in relation to growing sustainability awareness. This whole movement towards better understanding and pricing the true value of water will have significant implications for all businesses – both in terms of risks and opportunities.
Valuation is a complex and controversial issue, and business needs to participate in the discussion, as one of the many water users. Better valuing water is also part of responsible water management, and among other benefits, it can:
Help to make better-informed decisions related to securing access in the supply chain and production, and retail sites around the world;
Enable businesses to calculate the availability of water for their production processes as it is allocated between users, communities and ecosystems in the future;
Help to find ways to enhance revenues and save costs, and be a market leader is this area.
To demonstrate the benefits of water valuation for improved internal business decisions and external stakeholder engagement.
The work is based on the analysis of case studies from companies that have valued water. It also builds on the WBCSD Guide to Corporate Ecosystem Valuation (CEV), a framework for improving corporate decision-making through valuing ecosystem services.
A careful analysis of the collected case studies will allow WBCSD to:
Identify the business case for water valuation;
Analyze key learnings and results;
Refine understanding of key water valuation potential applications;
Identify potential commonalities, with the objective of defining guidance for water valuation.