The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has today released an updated version of the general Global Water Tool (GWT) with some of the most recent datasets such as water stress indicators from the World Resources Institute. New user-friendly options enable easy import of existing data and improved GIS-based mapping.
First launched in 2007, the GWT is a free and easy-to-use excel-based resource that provides access to and analysis of critical data. The tool is particularly helpful for businesses with global operations to identify corporate water risks and opportunities, as well as responses to challenges.
The tool has been developed through robust and regular consultation with WBCSD member companies and partner organizations, such as IPIECA. It enables users to map their locations and water use against water, sanitation, population and biodiversity datasets and stress indicators on a country and watershed basis, with future outlook, and in turn assess water risks related to their global operations, supply chains and new projects. Users can perform a first level screening through maps, figures or charts to capture key water performance and risk indicators. These outputs can be used for reporting under corporate disclosure initiatives like the Global Reporting Initiative, CDP Water, Bloomberg, Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and the IPIECA/API/IOGP Sustainability Reporting Guidance.
A first step towards improved water management, the global analysis supported by the tool can guide a deeper understanding of local communities' water situations, and help prioritize actions for sustainable water management. It also provides a robust strategy for minimizing risk and building long-term resilience that will take into account community engagement, supply chain and watershed management, transparency and public policy.
The tool can be used in combination with other tools to aid decision-making such as a company’s internal environmental data tracking tool, and it is compatible with GEMI’s Local Water Tool to build management plans at a specific site or operation.
“The upgrade of the Global Water Tool provides an excellent opportunity to continue the partnership between IPIECA and WBCSD, and to enable even greater consistency in how companies assess water risk”
(Brian Sullivan, IPIECA Executive Director)
IPIECA has been working with WBCSD since 2010 promoting the uptake and use of the tool. More information on water challenges and how they can be better managed by industry, can be found in the Water section of our website. The updated Global Water Tool for oil and gas will be released in due course.