The CEO Water Mandate – in collaboration with World Resources Institute – has developed a beta version of the Interactive Database of the World’s River Basins in order to promote and facilitate meaningful, harmonized location-specific reporting. The database – an extension of the Mandate’s Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines – allows companies to enter the coordinates of their (and their suppliers’) operations and understand in what river basins they are located (using a newly developed common nomenclature) and the boundaries of those river basins. Alternatively, companies can use interactive maps to manually locate their facilities on a map and learn more about the river basins in which they are located.
In 2014, the CEO Water Mandate published the Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines. The Guidelines emphasize that a company’s risks, opportunities, and impacts differ greatly depending on the river basin context(s) in which it operates. For example, a thousand gallons of water used in a water-rich region will likely have substantially less impact on ecosystems and people than a thousand gallons used in a water-scarce region. Thus, where possible, companies seek to report location-specific information in order to shed light on where water-related challenges are greatest and where action should be prioritized.
However, in the past, there has been no common nomenclature for river basin names or delineations for their boundaries on a global scale. This means that, for example, two companies might report on their water use in the Yellow River Basin, but be referring to two different (albeit likely overlapping) geographic areas, thus leading to results that are confusing for, and of limited use, to stakeholders. The database was created in response to this problem.
This beta version is meant to garner feedback from Mandate endorsers and other stakeholders in order to determine whether and how we can strengthen the tool in the future.