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Sustainable water policy, a few ideas

I just came back from a dinner hosted by a major UK retailer on water sustainability.

When it’s available I’ll post a link to the summary of the conversation.

There were some real experts there.

And me.

Meantime here are some useful tips on business and water policy/actions from the UN CEO Water Mandate which I cut and pasted as notes in a needless effort in case I had to repeat them as my own ideas during tonight’s dinner.

Seems a shame to waste them.

Below are a few useful pointers from the UN sections on supply chain and watershed management / collective action sections:

● Encourage suppliers to improve their water conservation, quality
monitoring, waste-water treatment, and recycling practices.

● Build capacities to analyze and respond to watershed risk.

● Encourage and facilitate suppliers in conducting assessments of
water usage and impacts.

● Share water sustainability practices – established and emerging
– with suppliers.

● Encourage major suppliers to report regularly on progress
achieved related to goals.

Collective Action

● Build closer ties with civil society organizations, especially at
the regional and local levels.

● Work with national, regional and local governments and public
authorities to address water sustainability issues and policies,
as well as with relevant international institutions – e.g., the UNEP
Global Programme of Action.

● Encourage development and use of new technologies, including
efficient irrigation methods, new plant varieties, drought resistance,
water efficiency and salt tolerance.

● Be actively involved in the UN Global Compact’s Country Networks.

● Support the work of existing water initiatives involving the private
sector – e.g., the Global Water Challenge; UNICEF’s Water, Environment and Sanitation Program; IFRC Water and Sanitation Program; the World Economic Forum Water Initiative – and collaborate with other relevant UN bodies and intergovernmental organizations – e.g., the World Health Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the World Bank Group.

Seem like some sensible ideas to me.

WWF’s water people are very impressive. Certainly they were tonight.

Companies to watch from my research and years of Ethical Corporation coverage of the issue include Coke, SAB Miller, Rio Tinto, M&S, Dole Foods, and PepsiCo, plus a Mexican Coke subsidiary called Femsa.

More on it all, here and here.


  1. It is my honor and privileged to found and read your post. It made me learn a lot of different ideas. Keep up the good work.


  2. Globally, freshwater resources and biodiversity are threatened by non-climate drivers, resulting in growing water scarcity and significant declines in populations of freshwater species. There are many ways that our societies can choose to respond to climate change like growing more crops for biofuels. In considering whether additional water use resulting from climate policies matters, the different types of water and their use in climate change response measures are summarized, before considering the institutional implications.