The Water Stewardship Action Learning Projects are designed to kick-start GAA members along their water stewardship journey, using the application of the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Principles and Standard. These projects are not designed to achieve full implementation or certification of AWS Standard. However, the projects will provide a good foundation for further investments and actions if that emerges as a company’s priority.
The objectives of the Action Learning Projects are three-fold:
- Provide guidance to the host company on how to develop a water stewardship strategy and action plan for the catchment,
- Inform the planned GAA Implementation guide for the agribusiness sector on water stewardship, and
- Contribute relevant and practical agri-specific learnings to the ongoing AWS standard revision.
The projects aim to assess the current water use trends, identify and map out the key stakeholders and their level of influence, shared water-related risks, challenges and opportunity at the site and catchment level and based on the findings develop a water stewardship plan for the site following the framework of AWS Standard.
Growing populations and economies, changing lifestyles and global climate change are putting increasing pressure on our water resources. Major water users, governments, cities and citizens all recognize the urgent need to work together to ensure the sustainability of this vital resource on which we all depend. Water stewardship enables water users to work together to identify and achieve common goals for sustainable water management and shared water security.
Water risk and opportunities for businesses
India’s growing water challenges have made businesses vulnerable to physical, regulatory, social and reputational risks. Water, now finds a place on the materiality issues for every business because it is either a direct operational challenge or a serious value chain concern. Companies’ growing interest in water is driven by several factors, including pure operational efficiency, brand management, and corporate ethics. However, they are all ultimately driven by the desire to reduce related business risks whether that is to maintain a social license to operate, build competitive advantage, encourage investment, or ensure long-term water supplies.
The severity and type of these risks (as well as the appropriate mitigation strategies for them) depend on geographic location and type of industry sector and water use.