© Ami Vitale WWF-UK
Collective Action
Companies must recognise that working with others and at various scales (global fora to local water groups) is a necessary part of a robust water stewardship strategy. Collective action where company water use and associated risk is high can help mitigate basin-related risks, boost reputation on water issues, and build brand trust and loyalty. 

Collective action can take the form of participation in public fora to address water management issues, support for freshwater conservation projects in watersheds of importance to company operations, partnerships with watershed groups, NGOs or other companies that pool technical, human and financial resources to conserve freshwater resources, and participation in collective actions to improve water management.

© Xiaodong Sun / WWF-UK

Taihu Lake Basin, China

The textile sector is key to China’s economy with a total economic volume of about US$1 trillion. China’s textile exports comprise 25 percent of the country’s total exports and are valued at US$29 billion. Today, the country’s textile industry withdraws over 3 trillion liters of water, accounting for 8 percent of the total industrial water withdrawal and making textiles the fourth largest industrial water user.
Operating since 2011, the Taihu Basin project was the first Water Stewardship project implemented by WWF. The basin is home to a significant portion of China’s manufacturing, including 37 percent of textile production. This project aims to improve the conditions of the river basin by transforming the industrial sector. While initial efforts have focused on the textile sector, the project’s vision is broader and will expand to include additional sectors.
For more information, click

© Sanket Bhale, WWF India

Noyyal and Bavani Basin, India

WWF’s work in the Noyyal-Bhavani basin was launched in 2018 with a desire to take an integrated a landscape approach to basin water stewardship efforts.The Noyyal and Bhavani sub-basins are critical for the water security of the region and home to unique wildlife in the still relatively pristine upper water source areas. As the rivers continue downstream, they enable much of the agricultural and industrial economy of the region.
The textile industry clusters are predominantly located in the middle Noyyal region, in the cities of Coimbatore and Tiruppur. The water stewardship project in the Noyyal Bhavani Basin has the ambition was to address shared basin challenges and has a strong foundation of science-based actions, test pilots to help inform policy making in the region and clear key performance indicators, which will measure the impact on the landscape.
For more information, click here. 

© Turgut Tarhan/Büyük Menderes Basin

Büyük Menderes Basin, Turkey

The textile and leather industries are the leading industrial sectors in the Büyük Menderes basin. Agriculture (including cotton production) is comparatively dominant in the downstream of the basin. The basin holds 40% of the national leather production, 60% of all textile exports of Turkey, and 14% of the national cotton production.
The river delta has been recognized as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) for breeding and wintering water birds. For these reasons, the vision o
f the project is ambitious: “Through the implementation of Water Stewardship, this programme aims to serve as a model in the conservation and sustainable use of water resources apt to be scaled up to other basins in Turkey”.
For more information, click 

© Thomas Cristofoletti/WWF-US

Great Mekong Delta, Vietnam

This project covers two interconnected areas, the Mekong and Dong Nai deltas, which have a total area of 10,000km2. The region, where 62% of textile and apparel factories are located, makes up more than 60% of the country’s GDP. 
The Mekong Delta’s main challenges are upstream hydropower dam development, sand mining, and overexploitation of groundwater. The activities are causing the delta to sink and shrink through land subsidence and erosion. 
The project’s vision is to transform the textile sector in Vietnam. By engaging sectoral and environmental governance, we aim to to bring social, economic and conservation benefits to the country and the Mekong region. Our approach is to engage textile businesses as active participants in the Mekong River resource planning and management, and sustainable energy planning. By creating an opportunity to discuss collective action to achieve sustainable investment and development in the textile sector, we expect to improve overall governance, indirectly helping to solve specific challenges of the basin.
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© Soh Koon Chng / WWF

Indus River basin, Pakistan

The economy of Pakistan is linked to the success of the cotton and textile sectors, as they dominate the country's exports, accounting for 55% of export value. 
The cotton and textile sector is considered highly water intensive, as water is an important input in cultivation of cotton and textile production processes. These sectors are heavily reliant upon the Indus River Basin for water, which puts tremendous amount of pressure on the river basin, especially in terms of water wastage. Because of the easy availability and accessibility of water, industries do not make conscious water consumption choices. On average, about 737 billion gallons of water are withdrawn from the Indus River annually to grow cotton. For textile, the average total process water abstracted per tonne of finished textile is 163 m3/t. Water consumption practices of these sectors need to be managed sustainably for long term management of this resource. 
For more information, click here