US: To assess and respond to increasing water risk globally, the World Resources Institute (WRI) is launching the Aqueduct Alliance, a consortium of leading water experts from the private and public sectors, NGOs, and academia. Founded by WRI, Goldman Sachs and General Electric, the alliance has added Bloomberg, The Dow Chemical Company, Talisman Energy, and United Technologies. The Coca-Cola Company is also engaged and will be providing an extensive global database of once proprietary water risk information to support Aqueduct’s work.
At the heart of Aqueduct is a global database of water risk information that will enable companies, investors, governments and others to create water risk maps with an unprecedented level of detail and resolution. The maps will combine advanced hydrological data with geographically-specific indicators that capture the social, economic and governance factors that affect companies and economies.
This publicly-available and transparent database will inform private sector efforts to reduce its water footprint in high risk areas, and create an impetus for public sector leaders to enter into dialogues with a range of stakeholders that will ultimately lead to more equitable, efficient, and sustainable water resources management in water-stressed basins.
WRI has already developed a working prototype of the database and risk mapping tool, covering the Yellow River Basin in northern China. WRI will soon be launching an updated interactive web platform that includes global and basin-specific maps and information on water related risks. The ultimate goal of the project is to provide a comprehensive database of water risk information that can support improved public and private sector decision-making in increasingly water-stressed locations throughout the world.