Constructing Decision-Relevant Global Water Risk Indicators
This working paper explains the methodology used to generate the hydrological metrics and indicators in the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas. For a detailed list of data sources, see the Aqueduct Global Maps 2.1 Metadata Document.
Bloomberg incorporated data from WRI's Aqueduct water risk platform into its mapping tool; MSCI began using Aqueduct to measure risks for utilities and oil, gas and chemical companies; and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board recommended that companies use Aqueduct to measure water stress. IKEA and GDF Suez used Aqueduct information in their in-house risk analyses.
Water risks like stress and variable supply threaten everything from agriculture to industry to energy production. Already, 69 countries and one-quarter of the world’s cropland face high water stress. These challenges will likely become more severe as competition for water increases and climate change shifts precipitation patterns.
The World Economic Forum identified global water crises as one of the top five global risks for businesses. Without tools to evaluate these risks and inform management plans, businesses’ bottom lines will suffer.
Aqueduct provides the most up-to-date water risk data and analysis for countries and water basins around the world. This year, private sector investment analysis tools began incorporating Aqueduct data, while leading businesses and banks used the tool to identify risks and set efficiency targets.
WRI worked with Bloomberg to incorporate Aqueduct information into its mapping tool, while MSCI, a leading provider of investment decision support tools, began using Aqueduct data to measure risks across hundreds of utilities and oil, gas and chemical companies. The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), a non-profit organization that helps corporations disclose information to investors, recommended that public companies use Aqueduct to measure water stress. And major corporations like IKEA, the world’s largest furniture retailer, and GDF Suez, a multinational electric utility company, have used Aqueduct information in their in-house risk analyses.
With private sector investment analysis tools now incorporating Aqueduct data, WRI is helping to make water risk analyses more mainstream. Bloomberg has more than 320,000 users around the world, MSCI has more than 6,000 clients, and SASB works with hundreds of businesses every year.
These businesses, banks and investors now have the analysis they need to help mitigate water risks and improve their own water management — which will benefit the planet and their own bottom lines. IKEA is now targeting its water-efficiency projects in its stores and distribution centers in highly water-stressed areas.