Businesses are not the only ones susceptible to water risks. Communities, customers, suppliers, and governments are all exposed to risk because of common water issues such as scarcity, pollution, aging infrastructure, floods, droughts, and climate change. These issues also drive the missions of environmental and human rights organizations and intergovernmental agencies, such as UNEP and UNDP.
This collective risk calls for collective action. Collaborative cross-sectoral efforts to reduce shared water risks can emerge through common understanding, strategies, and solutions, and are often the most effective path toward sustainable water management. All sectors need efficient water use, clean water, and effective infrastructure, and all rely on sustainable water management to address these issues and to respond to short-term priorities and plan for long-term risk.
Collective action allows for more efficient use of resources, greater visibility and leverage to encourage change, and a more dynamic understanding of water challenges that considers a wider range of perspectives and needs.
Everyone benefits by cooperating for safe water management. For example, inadequate water quality has the following impacts:
- Companies – Increases the costs of doing business.
- Local populations – Decreases overall health and quality of life.
- Governments – Failure to provide the basic human need and right to clean water.
Source: CEO Water Mandate.
For more on how companies can collaborate with governments and others to advance more sustainable water management, see the Mandate’s Guide to Responsible Business Engagement with Water Policy.