Water Valuation

Business and society as a whole tend to use water without realizing its real value and often take the resource itself and the services it provides for granted. However, water availability is increasingly limited. Globally, water resources are constant, but if current trends continue, water demand is predicted to increase by 55% worldwide between 2000 and 2050, with some industries increasing much more, such as manufacturing by 400% and electricity production by 140%. Business as usual is simply not an option and reversing this trend is imperative as water resources will not allow for such growth without an increase in the productivity of water use.

This is where business has a role to play. By assessing the value of the water they use in their operations, companies can better inform management actions and limit wasteful practices. Among other benefits, water valuation can actually help companies maintain and enhance revenues, reduce costs, manage risks or enhance reputation.

Water Valuation: Building the business case reviews the different internal and external drivers for companies to value water. It also details the different arguments for companies to engage in valuation and highlights the different applications for water valuation in business decision-making. It is based on a review of 21 business case studies that illustrate why and how different companies have carried out valuation studies. The Business guide to water valuation: an introduction to concepts and techniques completes the 3-part series, providing technical background to business managers and others considering engaging in water valuation.

PwC specialists in the US, the UK and Germany served on the advisory group for these collaborative publications, issued by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. PwC Chile further contributed a case study on how we used water valuation to assist Minera Escondida (BHP Billiton) in improving water efficiency in the world’s largest copper mine.