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Water Maturity Progression Operations Context Strategy Engagement Communication Human Rights Sector Specific


Context

Assess river basin and value chain circumstances to understand risk and impacts

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Another aspect of the Stewardship Progression is developing a deeper and more dynamic understanding of the water context in which you operate. This involves assessing the degree of water stress in the river basins in which you operate, the effectiveness of water governance in those areas, and the broader water-related circumstances of your value chain. Ultimately, this enables you to identify the most strategic actions you can take to manage your water risks and reduce your negative impacts on people and ecosystems.



Understand water-stressed and high-risk basins


Core Steps
  • Assess degree of water stress facing all operations
  • Prioritize operations based on degree of stress
  • Develop robust understanding of specific water challenges in priority operations
Business Benefits
  • Gauge water risk and opportunities due to basin conditions
  • Gather information needed to develop effective collective actions
Why?

The water-related impacts you create and risks you faced are inextricably linked to the river basin or watershed context in which you operate. A thousand gallons of water used in water-rich Finland will likely have much less damaging effects than the same amount used in water-scarce Namibia. Because of this, understanding which river basins in which you operate are water-stressed or otherwise more likely to create business risk is an essential aspect of stewardship.

When combined with assessments of which facilities use the most water and which are most critical to business success, such an analysis enables you to identify the most strategic, cost-effective stewardship actions. By understanding the nature of water stress in a given area, you can also understand what type of action is needed: whether you need to use water more efficiently, promote community WASH services, support better governance structures, improve water quality, or pursue some other type of action.

What? How?

There are now a variety of free, online tools that help you identify which of your facilities and/or suppliers are most exposed to water stress, including:

Use these tools to conduct an initial assessment. Once this has been done, you can then conduct more in-depth analyses in high-risk river basins by conducting watershed assessments and engaging with local stakeholders with knowledge of the situation.



Assess risks and impacts in the value chain


Core Steps
  • Conduct comprehensive water use assessment for company and its value chain
  • Assess all suppliers’ exposure to water stress
  • Prioritize suppliers based on severity of stress
Business Benefits
  • Gauge risks and opportunities stemming from value chain conditions
  • Gather information needed to engage suppliers and consumers
Why?

Companies seeking to address water risks and impacts comprehensively also look at the value chain context in which they operate. Though you may not use much water in your own offices or operations, you can still be exposed to significant water risks if the supplies on which you rely are water-intensive and/or grown in water-stressed areas, or if your products are water-intensive or used in water-stressed areas. For many companies, the vast majority of their water use is indirect, meaning it occurs outside their own operations. This is especially true of companies with agricultural supply chains. By understanding risks and impacts in the value chain, you can determine whether significant supplier or customer engagement is needed to address water risks, and whether such action may be a greater priority than operational improvements.

What? How?

You can begin to understand your value chain context by assessing the embedded water use and quality impacts of your products, from the production of raw materials, to manufacturing, to distribution, and product end use. As part of this process, you will likely need to collect water performance and context data from your suppliers. These analyses provide a more holistic picture of a product’s potential negative impacts on people and ecosystems and therefore a better idea of where in the production process action is most needed. Life Cycle Assessment and Water Footprint Assessment are popular methodologies for such assessments.

Resources

Use the checkboxes below to indicate the types of resources you are looking for and the resource list will be updated automatically.

Purpose:
Scope:
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Hotel Water Measurement Initiative (2016)

Primary Functions:

The Hotel Water Measurement Initiative (HWMI) is a methodology and tool to enable hotels measure and report on water use in a consistent way. It was developed by the International Tourism Partnership in partnership with KPMG and 18 global hotel companies. HWMI is free of charge and can be used by any hotel anywhere in the world, from small guesthouses to 5 star resorts.

Purpose: Measure & monitor (Operations) Efficiency & pollution (Operations) Understand water stress (Context) Assess value chain (Context) Water strategy (Strategy) Collective action (Engagement) Value chain engagement (Engagement) Provide Sector Specific Support
Scope: Corporate Facility / River Basin Value Chain
Type: Tools
Sectors: Hotels & tourism

Developed by: Hotel Water Measurement Initiative, International Tourism Partnership

IWRM Data Portal (2015)

Primary Functions:

  • Examine the progress of IWRM implementation within the individual countries and track the global progress towards better management of  water resources
Purpose: Understand water stress (Context)
Scope: Facility / River Basin
Type: Tools

Developed by: UNEP-DHI Partnership

Water Scarcity Solutions (2015)

Primary Functions:

  • Learn about existing water risk solutions to inform your own approaches
Purpose: Understand water stress (Context) Collective action (Engagement)
Scope: Facility / River Basin
Type: Guidance

Developed by: 2030 Water Resources Group

Water Risk Monetizer (2014)

Primary Functions:

  • Access actionable information to help businesses understand and quantify water-related risks in financial terms
Purpose: Measure & monitor (Operations) Understand water stress (Context) Water strategy (Strategy)
Scope: Corporate Facility / River Basin
Type: Tools

Developed by: Ecolab USA, Trucost

Driving Harmonization of Water-Related Terminology (2014)

Primary Functions:

  • Understand the terms “water scarcity”, “water stress”, “water risk”, and how they relate to one another
Purpose: Understand water stress (Context) Stakeholder dialogue (Communication)
Scope: Corporate
Type: Discussion Paper

Developed by: CEO Water Mandate, Alliance for Water Stewardship, CDP, Ceres, The Nature Conservancy, Water Footprint Network, World Resources Institute, WWF

Understanding “Sufficiency” in Water-Related Collective Action (2014)

Primary Functions:

  • Assess river basin “sufficiency” so as to understand how much and what type of collective action is needed
Purpose: Understand water stress (Context) Collective action (Engagement)
Scope: Facility / River Basin
Type: Discussion Paper

Developed by: CEO Water Mandate, The Nature Conservancy, CDP

Aqueduct (2013)

Primary Functions:

  • Conduct robust and granular measure of local water risk
  • Assess water risk based on several measures in addition to physical water availability
  • Evaluate projected changes in future water risk under three scenarios of climate and socio-economic change
Purpose: Understand water stress (Context) Value chain engagement (Engagement)
Scope: Corporate Facility / River Basin Value Chain
Type: Tools

Developed by: World Resources Institute

Local Water Tool (2012)

Primary Functions:

  • Quantify water-related impacts caused by facility
  • Quantify facility’s exposure to water-related risk
  • Identify helpful management response
Purpose: Measure & monitor (Operations) Understand water stress (Context)
Scope: Facility / River Basin
Type: Tools

Developed by: Global Environmental Management Initiative

Water Footprint Assessment (2012)

Primary Functions:

  • Inform “big picture” strategic planning
  • Identify at what stage within the value chain the water footprint is in a hotspot
  • Build awareness among public
Purpose: Measure & monitor (Operations) Understand water stress (Context) Value chain engagement (Engagement)
Scope: Corporate Facility / River Basin Value Chain
Type: Guidance Tools

Developed by: Water Footprint Network

Water Risk Filter (2012)

Primary Functions:

  • Conduct quick, first-tier facility-level risk screen based on company performance and watershed conditions
  • Access detailed analysis of company’s exposure to water-related risk
  • Easily understandable and useful for companies with limited understanding of water issues
Purpose: Understand water stress (Context) Collective action (Engagement)
Scope: Corporate
Type: Tools

Developed by: WWF, DEG

Life Cycle Assessment (2009)

Primary Functions:

  • Make cross-media environmental assessments that consider water consumption and pollution in comparison with other environmental impacts
  • Implement mature science-based methods for assessing water-related impacts
Purpose: Assess value chain (Context) Water strategy (Strategy)
Scope: Value Chain
Type: Guidance

Developed by: Standards: ISO 14040/ ISO 14044, Water footprint: ISO 14046

Global Water Tool (2007)

Primary Functions:

  • Fast first-tier risk screen enables you to understand which facilities worldwide are facing water stress (and therefore likely high business risk)
  • Access simple inventory for you to compile your water data
Purpose: Understand water stress (Context)
Scope: Corporate
Type: Tools

Developed by: World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

Case Studies

Use the checkboxes below to indicate the types of case studies you are looking for and the case study list will be updated automatically.

Scope:
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Maturity Progression:

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