The World Economic Forum has identified water as the top risk facing business and communities globally. Access to water is recognized as a universal human right, and companies, communities and governments all have a stake in how it is managed. Ineffective management of water resources can result in interruption of natural water cycles and have direct impacts to ecosystems and biodiversity. Water can pose serious threats to a company’s operations, as competition increases every day for this limited resource.

Best practice management of water is moving towards a multi-stakeholder and catchment-based approach. Stakeholders include the private sector, government and local communities, all of whom need to collaborate on integrated development plans to protect and manage this critical resource. Water is a shared resource that exists in catchment areas; thus, managing water requires a company to think beyond its own operations to how water will be managed in the larger geographic area in which it operates.