Water Risk and Opportunity: A matter of perspective

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Water Risk and Opportunity: A matter of perspective

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Monday, March 25, 2013 - 12:00pm

CONTENT: Article

Water risk is a growing source of concern for business today. It takes a holistic perspective to tackle these challenges and transform them into opportunities.

Having worked intimately in the water risk space for the past decade, I know that water is a unique and challenging business issue for many companies because it is:

  1. Location-specific: risk factors can vary significantly from one location to another;
  2. Dynamic: floods and droughts can occur in close proximity;
  3. Multi-dimensional: water has physical (quantity/quality), regulatory, and social aspects;
  4. Essential: water is fundamental to nearly every activity, product, or service yet has no substitute;
  5. Undervalued: historically low cost commodity, with cost not reflective of usefulness and true value;
  6. Contentious: legacy issues and social norms abound, plus it is difficult to bound, measure, and define rights; and
  7. Data Constrained: comparable and accurate data sets are limited, especially at low granularity.

Taken collectively, water can have “paralyzing complexity,” especially for companies with operations spread across diverse global geographies. The result is that companies commonly remain in reactive mode (e.g. put out fires as they arise), maintain a narrow focus on “within the four walls” water conservation, or try to get by with global data sets and water stress maps to define business priorities.

While there are many reasons to limit the effort put forth toward assessing water-related business risks and opportunities, being too complex should not be among them. It is really a matter of perspective.

Continue reading this article at Water Risk and Opportunity: A matter of perspective

To explore similar concepts in more detail, I recommend a document recently published by the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) entitled A Practical Perspective for Managing Water-Related Business Risks and Opportunities in the Beverage Sector.


Nick Martin
+1 (804) 332-6401
Global Corporate Consultancy
Keywords: 2degrees | Environment & Climate Change | Corporate Social Responsibility | Sustainability Business | Water | Water Strategy | antea group | water | water opportunity | water risk

CONTENT: Article