Wise up to Water Risks at the 2013 World Water Week in Stockholm

By Josh Weinberg & Maya Rebermark, Communications, SIWI

Hydrologists like to call water the ‘bloodstream of the planet’. But it is much more than that. Water is essential to almost all human activities – including those we invest in financially.

Today, 20 percent of global GDP is at risk due to water stress1. In the 2012 CDP Water Disclosure Report, the majority of businesses surveyed stated that they currently face water-related risks, with over one-third already suffering from the impacts2. A report released by The World Economic Forum this year identified water supply crises as one of the most likely and highest impact risks facing the modern world3.  Clearly, water is a big issue for businesses today and it goes far beyond Corporate Social Responsibility obligations.

While water risks have reached the company agenda for most large corporates, many still have a long way to go to become water wise. Over 40% of the Global 500 companies lack concrete water related goals, and do not have oversight at board level on their water strategies. Without explicit targets and commitment from the highest levels of leadership within firms, it can be challenging to ensure that all within an organisation pro-actively work in this area. The good news is that more support than ever before is now available to assess the specific challenges, uncertainties and to take action.

Over 40% of the Global 500 companies lack concrete water related goals.

We at SIWI believe that no water challenges can be solved by one actor alone. During the UN International Year of Water Cooperation, SIWI will deliver the 2013 World Water Week in Stockholm under the theme of ‘Water Cooperation – Building Partnerships’. For over two decades, the World Water Week in Stockholm has brought together over 260 convening organisations to build a unique platform for a rich exchange between a wide diversity of perspectives. An approach which has helped to launch and strengthen countless initiatives that serve to improve water stewardship worldwide.

Water is an important driver of economic and social development and must be addressed by all sectors of society.  With renewed global focus on the ‘green economy’, and the challenges of meeting the sharply increasing food and energy demands, the need to address water, energy and food security is particularly critical.

Water is an important driver of economic and social development. Understanding the risks and opportunities water presents will help any company to build a sustainable future.

An increasingly important stakeholder group for effective water development and management is the private sector. This includes large-scale and small-scale enterprise, for which safe access to water and water efficient production is business-critical. Ultimately, understanding the risks and opportunities that water presents will help any company avoid unnecessary losses and build a sustainable future. Spending time to make sure your business is water wise is always a smart move.

The questions to be addressed in this year’s World Water Week include: why do we need to cooperate, on what, for what aim and at what level, with whom and, not least, how?  Explore your possibilities and the power of water cooperation at worldwaterweek.org.

 

About Stockholm International Water Institute

The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) is a policy institute that generates knowledge and informs decision-making towards water wise policy and sustainable development. SIWI performs research, builds institutional capacity and provides advisory services in five thematic areas: water governance, transboundary water management, water and climate change, the water-energy-food nexus, and water economics. SIWI organises the World Water Week in Stockholm – the leading annual global meeting place on water and development issues – and hosts the Stockholm Water Prize, the StockhBy Josh Weinberg & Maya Rebermark, Communications, SIWI

Hydrologists like to call water the ‘bloodstream of the planet’. But it is much more than that. Water is essential to almost all human activities – including those we invest in financially.

Today, 20 percent of global GDP is at risk due to water stress1. In the 2012 CDP Water Disclosure Report, the majority of businesses surveyed stated that they currently face water-related risks, with over one-third already suffering from the impacts2. A report released by The World Economic Forum this year identified water supply crises as one of the most likely and highest impact risks facing the modern world3.  Clearly, water is a big issue for businesses today and it goes far beyond Corporate Social Responsibility obligations.

While water risks have reached the company agenda for most large corporates, many still have a long way to go to become water wise. Over 40% of the Global 500 companies lack concrete water related goals, and do not have oversight at board level on their water strategies. Without explicit targets and commitment from the highest levels of leadership within firms, it can be challenging to ensure that all within an organisation pro-actively work in this area. The good news is that more support than ever before is now available to assess the specific challenges, uncertainties and to take action.

Over 40% of the Global 500 companies lack concrete water related goals.

We at SIWI believe that no water challenges can be solved by one actor alone. During the UN International Year of Water Cooperation, SIWI will deliver the 2013 World Water Week in Stockholm under the theme of ‘Water Cooperation – Building Partnerships’. For over two decades, the World Water Week in Stockholm has brought together over 260 convening organisations to build a unique platform for a rich exchange between a wide diversity of perspectives. An approach which has helped to launch and strengthen countless initiatives that serve to improve water stewardship worldwide.

Water is an important driver of economic and social development and must be addressed by all sectors of society.  With renewed global focus on the ‘green economy’, and the challenges of meeting the sharply increasing food and energy demands, the need to address water, energy and food security is particularly critical.

Water is an important driver of economic and social development. Understanding the risks and opportunities water presents will help any company to build a sustainable future.

An increasingly important stakeholder group for effective water development and management is the private sector. This includes large-scale and small-scale enterprise, for which safe access to water and water efficient production is business-critical. Ultimately, understanding the risks and opportunities that water presents will help any company avoid unnecessary losses and build a sustainable future. Spending time to make sure your business is water wise is always a smart move.

The questions to be addressed in this year’s World Water Week include: why do we need to cooperate, on what, for what aim and at what level, with whom and, not least, how?  Explore your possibilities and the power of water cooperation at worldwaterweek.org.

 

About Stockholm International Water Institute

The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) is a policy institute that generates knowledge and informs decision-making towards water wise policy and sustainable development. SIWI performs research, builds institutional capacity and provides advisory services in five thematic areas: water governance, transboundary water management, water and climate change, the water-energy-food nexus, and water economics. SIWI organises the World Water Week in Stockholm – the leading annual global meeting place on water and development issues – and hosts the Stockholm Water Prize, the Stockholm Junior Water Prize and the Stockholm Industry Water Award.

References

1.http://www.veoliawaterna.com/north-america-water/ressources/documents/1 /19979,IFPRI-White-Paper.pdf


2.https://www.cdproject.net/CDPResults/CDP-Water-Disclosure-Global-Report-2012.pdf


3.http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GlobalRisks_Report_2013.pdfolm Junior Water Prize and the Stockholm Industry Water Award.