Connecting the Drops Towards Creative Water Strategies: A Water Sustainability Tool and web site are designed to help businesses build a well-tailored water strategy that fits the business’ needs and circumstances. Case studies highlight ways that companies can create business value by pursuing the sustainable management of water resources. The tool enables organizations to better understand their relationship to water throughout the value chain, identify opportunities and risks, assess the business case for action, and develop and implement continual improvement-based water strategies.
As business leaders plan for the future, they scan for opportunities and risks created by emerging trends that may impact their company, industry, customers, and the world. There are now signals, some faint, some strong, that water is emerging as an issue of strategic importance to business. Over the past several decades, many businesses have improved the efficiency of water use and reduced the discharge of pollutants to surface waters and aquifers. In fact, in some areas, despite increases in population and economic activity, freshwater consumption has dropped since 1980 in response to water conservation, reuse, recycling efforts, and changing priorities for water use. Following such successes, many companies are taking a renewed—and more coordinated—look at their relationship to water and seeing both expanding opportunities and heightening risks. New Signals, New Opportunities, New Risks. The business case for strategically addressing water challenges is getting stronger. While each organization must assess the business case arising from its own relationship to water risks and opportunities, companies are increasingly encountering four strategic water signals that the business case to address water issues is building in multiple industry sectors. Business benchmarking and case studies conducted as part of this effort are evidence that these signals are growing in strength and frequency.