As consumption patterns continue to grow, the demand for clean water and costs for controlling pollution and protecting natural ecosystems increase as well. Current population growth and urbanisation trends mean water is increasingly scarce. At the same time, extreme weather conditions can also cause situations where excess water is a problem.
Managing the implications of water that’s “too much or too little, or too dirty or too expensive” can be a challenge. In ‘Meeting the world’s water challenges’ we share:
What can you do to manage your water risks? We’ve helped business in the following ways:
For many organisations, the first step in managing water is measurement – since “what’s not measured, won’t get managed”. Effective water management requires an understanding of the volumes of water used by businesses and their suppliers, and the amounts of waste-water or pollution they produce. We can help organisations to fully understand the ways in which their businesses rely on water.
Business operations have impacts on the availability of clean water for other water users. We help companies to identify, quantify and evaluate how their water use impacts neighbouring communities, economies, and ecosystems. We advise on approaches to apply this new understanding and make improvements.
Scarcity of available clean water resources can:
Beyond these physical risks, companies today are coming under increasing scrutiny of their water impacts from regulators and other stakeholders. Understanding and mitigating these physical, regulatory and reputational water risks is an important part of corporate risk management. We can help businesses, analyse technical and financial aspects of water risk exposure and help clients to evaluate the costs, benefits and risks of a range of options to meet projected shortfalls in clean water supplies.
Water presents a significant business opportunity for many companies. Some may be able to find cost savings through implementing water efficiency projects, while others can use water-related products or services to generate new revenue, explore new markets or use new technologies. We help businesses to identify, evaluate and seize these new opportunities.
Increasing expectations from investors, customers, and non-governmental organisations are driving companies to improve how they communicate their water risks, impacts, and opportunities. Water disclosure has become a key aspect of corporate communications for companies in water-intensive sectors or those operating in water-stressed areas. We help businesses understand what and how to report about their water use and impacts.
As water becomes an increasingly valuable resource, having credible information about corporate water impacts will become increasingly important. PwC helps business have confidence in their reporting through the provision of assurance and verification services over corporate sustainability reports. PwC was selected by the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate to lead the development of the CEO Water Mandate Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines (published in 2014). These guidelines help investors assess and compare corporate water performance by driving convergence in the way companies report on water issues, minimising the reporting burden for companies.
There are multiple initiatives bringing together public, private, scientific and civil society representatives in a collaborative effort to close the demand-supply water gaps in economies. Both governments and businesses want to engage with these initiatives to enhance economic growth, social security and environmental resilience in the future. The year 2030 serves as a cornerstone in future prediction. We can help organisations to engage in the path to 2030, by forming good and trustful partnerships.