Cities and women can be key players in managing future water demand, including reducing risks from the fastest-growing water users--energy and industrial activities.
More than 80 percent of the Caribbean's wastewater enters the ocean untreated, spurring the growth of algae on coral reefs and increasing the risk of infections for swimmers, among other issues. While many have been aware of this problem in Tobago for more than 20 years, there's been little government action.
Research on future water risk finds that rapidly growing demand for water will drive the greatest increase in water stress, even more so than supply changes caused by droughts and other extreme events.
The Flint water crisis an example of what can happen in the absence of transparent, inclusive and accountable water quality regulation and public service delivery. And unfortunately, it's just one community out of many throughout the world experiencing this problem.
More than 100 companies have now committed to use the best science available as the basis for setting greenhouse gas emissions-reduction targets. Targets informed by science might well be effective in reducing risks posed by water as well—but there are hurdles to overcome first.
While droughts, floods and increasingly rapid groundwater depletion are cause for concern, this year presents unprecedented opportunities to pursue better water management. Director of WRI's Global Water program Betsy Otto explains.
Electricity for water treatment can be as much as one-third of a city's energy bill, and these "energy-water nexus" issues are becoming more and more concerning for businesses. A new GE and WRI report explores three innovative solutions for energy and water management.
In 2015, a growing number of international organizations, companies and investment firms used Aqueduct – WRI’s global online water data platform – to assess risk and improve water management. With its clear, accessible presentation of information, Aqueduct has become the world standard for water risk assessment.
Businesses and other multinational organizations can’t manage what they can’t measure when it comes to water availability now and in the future. Because the risks to this essential resource are complex, they can be challenging to present in an accessible format to the range of audiences that need them.
Aqueduct staff worked actively with the Red Cross Red Crescent, Morgan Stanley, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Natural Capital Declaration, and a suite of German sustainability and financial entities to integrate water risk data into decision-making.
FAO’s AQUASTAT, the world’s leading water data source, will now include key Aqueduct indicators on flooding and water supply variability from year to year and from season to season. This will enhance FAO’s monitoring of progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals aimed at eradicating extreme poverty while encouraging sustainable development.
Red Cross Red Crescent’s Climate Centre uses the Aqueduct Global Flood Analyzer in its worldwide training program to help decision-makers communicate current and future flood risks in terms of the number of lives affected and dollars lost, while making these risks relevant to trainees with estimates for countries, states and watersheds where local data is not available.
Morgan Stanley’s Sustainable + Responsible investment research team chose Aqueduct to identify water risk to potential investments, such as the food and beverage sector, empowering more investors to understand water risk and drive improved water management among companies in their portfolios.
The German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), the Natural Capital Declaration and the German Association for Environmental Management and Sustainability in Financial Institutions incorporated Aqueduct data on future water stress into a tool to identify water risks to corporate bonds. The tool will be available in the Bloomberg terminal for financial analysts.
By quantifying complex risks and making this information simple to find and use, Aqueduct data has become the standard for water risk assessment. When these risks are explained in meaningful terms of economic and human impact, they become easier to manage. Ultimately, the widespread use of Aqueduct will enable people, businesses and entire societies to cope better as climate change and other factors increase water-related risks.
Globally, changing water supply and demand is inevitable; what that change will look like is far from certain. A first-of-its-kind analysis sheds new light on the issue.