Significant business disruptions due to water scarcity – across all sectors and geographies,and with all the associated technical, economic, political, environmental and social implications–
are a reality today
, and are projected to
worsen in the future
, as a result of climate changeand demographics. Governments play an important role in helping to mitigate and adapt to thechallenge, but so does the private sector, through individual company actions and throughinnovative public-private and multistakeholder partnerships. CEOs are called to catalyseholistic water management actions up and down their respective supply chains and throughoutthe existing and new networks of which they are a part.The focus of actions should include:
• Water governance for transparent/fair allocation to users and sound incentives for efficient water use;• Water for agricultural use (“more crop per drop”; 70% of water withdrawn worldwide);• Water for industry (water efficiency within operations);• Water for energy (the deepening link between water resources and climate change);• Water for human purposes (sustainable and affordable access to safe drinking water and sanitation);• Water for the environment (to ensure sustained eco-system security).
To assist the development of this set of actions, the signatories of this paper encourage theDavos community to establish a wide coalition of businesses across different sectors. Thiscoalition should create and collaborate with innovative partnerships on water managementinvolving the research, development, farming, International Non-Governmental Organizations(INGO) and government communities. The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting can be usedto help the coalition develop a plan of action that will:
• Help raise global awareness and make water a strategic management issue for both businesses andgovernments;• Undertake a major international forecast on water security and its economic and political implications;• Leverage the outstanding competencies of the global business community to help implement any actions;• Support a substantive policy dialogue to improve water governance, to enable more market-basedmechanisms and sustained global corporate citizenship on water. At the Annual Meeting 2008, the public and private sessions related to water include:Managing Our Future Water Needs (private) 24/01/2008 08.00* Time Is Running Out for Water 24/01/2008 10.15 The True Value of Water 24/01/2008 12.30Who Is Managing Your Supply of Water? 25/01/2008 09.00 Are We Being Bio-Foolish? 25/01/2008 20.00Securing a Watertight Future 26/01/2008 09.00*Death, Disease and Dirty Water 26/01/2008 14.00*Please join sessions
Managing Our Future Water Needs
and Securing a
where thisspecific call to action will be discussed and a process to craft an action plan for 2008 willbe undertaken.