Last month the World Resources Institute (WRI) announced that is is launching the Aqueduct Alliance, a consortium of water experts from the private and public sectors, NGOs and academia to respond to the increasing global water risk. With rapidly increasing population and the impact of climate change, governments are concerned about water-related disruptions and seeking viable approaches for mitigating risks.
At the heart of the Aqueduct Alliance is a global database of water risk information that will enable companies, investors, governments and others to create water risk maps with more detail than was previously possible. The maps combine hydrological data with geographically-specific indicators that capture the social, economic and governance factors that affect companies and economies. The idea is that the database will help private sector efforts to reduce water use in high risk areas and create an impetus for the public sector to deliver more equitable, efficient and sustainable water resources.
Kirsty Jenkinson, Director of WRI’s Markets and Enterprise Programme said: “Aqueduct will provide accurate, high quality information together with a platform for businesses and governments to address water risks beyond physical water scarcity, including regulatory and socioeconomic risks.”
The Alliance was founded by WRI, Goldman Sachs and General Electric and has added Bloomberg, The Dow Chemical Company, Talisman Energy and United Technologies. The Coca-Cola Company is also involved and will be providing a global database of once proprietary water risk information.
Events of extreme drought and flooding are increasing and will only be made worse by the impact of climate change. Such events have significant impact on people, businesses and local infrastructure. The potential impact is clear from a survey of 150 large corporations conducted by CDP Water Disclosure in which nearly 40% of companies said that they had already experienced disruptions in operations, increases in expenses and other detrimental impacts related to water.
Systems to predict future problems and warn of short-term disruption are an essential element of green ICT and will become a much more significant aspect as climate change gathers pace.