Posted on 20 November 2017
Detailed data will enable companies to better assess and respond to water risk
People often associate water risk with dry places facing water scarcity, but dry and water risk are not synonymous, writes Alexis Morgan, WWF Water Stewardship Lead, who is attending this week's launch of the high resolution data set for Brazil in Sao Paulo.
Indeed, too much water (i.e., flooding) represents perhaps one of the greatest water risks that faces companies and investors. For countries that face both flooding and droughts, an awareness of water risk is particularly important.
This week marks another step forward in the journey of the Water Risk Filter. Working with local Brazilian data, we have developed the world’s first high resolution water risk mapping tool. Launched this week in Sao Paulo, the tool will allow uses to explore water risk at not only a fine spatial scale (local catchment level), but also draw upon more up-to-date local data that is better calibrated than global models.
The Brazilian data set adds to existing high resolution data for the UK and South Africa, with new data soon coming for the Lower Mekong countries, Colombia and Spain.
The release of this new data will provide Brazilian companies, investors, and other potential users with an unparalleled understanding of water risk across the entire country. Whether one is concerned about manufacturing facilities facing drought in the northeast, or floods affecting crops in the southwest, the tool will help users understand where basin water risks are most acute.
In the coming months, this data will be combined with the upgraded version of the Water Risk Filter to allow users not only to explore water risk maps for Brazil, but also to easily develop portfolio assessments using either global or local, high-resolution Brazilian data sets. Users can then discover how these risks can affect financial statements before unpacking customized responses to mitigate risks posed by shared water challenges.
The existing tool has been widely used in Brazil with 1900 facilities assessed across the country, with beverage producers, pulp & paper, and agricultural plant products (primarily coffee) leading the way.
In early 2018 when the upgraded tool is fully operational, WWF will begin a broader campaign to engage priority sectors, companies and regions with a view to mobilizing water stewardship at a broader scale.
Water is a global challenge, but water risks need to be understood in a local context. The Water Risk Filter now offers users in Brazil the opportunity to do just that. Isn’t it time you knew your local water risk?