As the climate crisis intensifies, and the world grapples with its consequences, it’s difficult to overstate the impacts climate change is having on our shared freshwater resources. From Chennai to Cape Town, water-stressed regions are already experiencing shortages in their freshwater supplies.
Presently, two billion people around the world are living in a water-stressed area, and the same will be true of more than half the world’s population by 2050 if no action is taken. Based on projected demand, the world will face a 40 per cent shortfall in freshwater supply within 10 years. That means more and more places around the world – and not just in low- and middle-income countries – will face their Day Zero when the taps run dry.
But there is a better path. If we change the way we use and manage water, we can ensure sustainable, ample and resilient freshwater resources for all. Working at the local level, we can improve the availability, quality and accessibility of water. On a global scale, we can build awareness and ultimately change how water is valued and managed.
That is why seven global corporate leaders have formed the Water Resilience Coalition to advance a shared mission: collaborating to ensure freshwater basins are able to consistently supply what’s needed for communities, businesses and the natural environment on which we all depend.
The Water Resilience Coalition is an industry-driven, CEO-led initiative of the United Nations Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate that aims to preserve the world’s freshwater resources through collective action in water-stressed basins and ambitious, quantifiable commitments.
As the Water Resilience Coalition members, partners and endorsers, we are urging other industry leaders to join the Coalition, sign a pledge and work toward its three overarching 2050 commitments:
- Net Positive Water Impact: Deliver measurable net positive impact in water-stressed basins where we operate, focusing on the availability, quality and accessibility of freshwater resources. Net positive water impact is defined as contributing more to basin health than what is taken from it.
- Water Resilient Value Chains: Develop, implement, and enable strategies to support leading impact-based water resilience practices across the global value chain.
- Global Leadership: Raise the ambition of water resilience through public and corporate outreach, as well as inspire other industry leaders to join the Coalition and sign a pledge.
The work of the Coalition is critical to the world’s many communities, the environment and our long-term prosperity. We have the responsibility and opportunity to join our resources and efforts with those of other sectors of society. By coming together, we are working toward a world with enough clean water for all, where our children and the generations that come after them can thrive.
David MacLennan, Chief Executive Officer, Cargill
Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive, Diageo
Jim Fitterling, Chief Executive Officer, Dow Inc.
Douglas M. Baker, JR., Chairman of the Board & Chief Executive Officer, Ecolab
Sonia Syngal, CEO, Gap Inc.
Brad Smith, President, Microsoft
Emanuel Chirico, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, PVH Corp.
James Quincey, Chairman & CEO, The Coca-Cola Company
Jean-François van Boxmeer, Chairman Executive Board & Chief Executive Officer, HEINEKEN
Charles V. Bergh. President & Chief Executive Officer, Levi Strauss & Co.
This letter is endorsed by the following organizations...
Mindy Lubber, CEO & President, Ceres
J. Carl Ganter, Managing Director, Circle of Blue; CEO, Vector Center
Monika Weber-Fahr, Executive Secretary, Global Water Partnership
Claudia Sadoff, Director General, International Water Management Institute
Henk WJ Ovink, Valuing Water Initiative
Sally Jewell, Interim Chief Executive Officer, The Nature Conservancy
Tim Wainwright, Chief Executive, WaterAid
Jennifer Tisdel Schorsch, President, Water.org
Andrew Steer, President & CEO, World Resources Institute