If you are a regular reader of news related to water risk, you may have seen data and observations from Aqueduct in several venues during the month of January. This is the first of a series of updates on news related to Aqueduct and the subject of water risk in general. If you want to suggest a story for the Aqueduct News Roundup, please e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bloomberg – “Water Risk in Supply Chains Draws Investor Scrutiny” This article points out several examples of companies and investors working to understand the importance of water related risks to their bottom line. One interesting case is Trillium Asset Management, a $900 million fund manager that led a shareholder challenge to food company J.M. Smucker, asking that it demonstrate its preparedness for the impacts of climate change in its supply chain. The article also discusses the Aqueduct project as well as Aqueduct Alliance member Coca-Cola’s efforts around water.
Wall Street Journal – “India Inc. Faces Water Troubles” This is just one of many stories this month responding to a study by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry on the growing challenge water is posing to Indian business. There are a few alarming statistics in the report’s findings: more than 60% of Indian companies studied are currently being impacted by water availability, and water is expected to be a major issue for 90% of Indian businesses in the next decade.
Environmental Leader – “The Business of Water” This article was written by Jon Freedman from Aqueduct Alliance member General Electric. It emphasizes the need to move from individual efforts to collective action for sustainable water management. It lays out a series of steps the private sector, governments, and other stakeholders can take in collaboration towards a water-secure future.
The Motley Fool – “Water Stocks: Will Top CEOs Start taking Water Risk Seriously?” This post quotes several of the points from the preceding story from Bloomberg, but goes one step farther. It provides a short list of water utilities trading on U.S. markets, inviting readers to look for ways to trade on the increasing importance of water.
Washington Post – “Making a Case for a Corporate Conscience” This article examines how corporate social responsibility issues are integrated into the strategic plans of companies. It uses Coca-Cola and Aqueduct as an example of a situation in which corporate responsibility is directly and materially relevant to a company’s strategy.
The common thread through all of these stories from January is that the risks associated with water management and water scarcity are continuing to gain prominence in board rooms and government offices worldwide. As Aqueduct prepares to publish comprehensive water risk maps for several critical river basins (the Orange-Senqu, Murray-Darling, and Colorado) in the next two months, the appetite for actionable information about water risk has never been higher.
The next Aqueduct News Roundup will include the lead-up to the 6th World Water Forum being held in Marseilles in mid-March, at which the Aqueduct team will share some of its newest developments and data with the world.