New Water Resilience Assessment Framework Launched at World Water Week
The UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate has partnered with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the Pacific Institute, the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation (AGWA) and World Resources Institute (WRI), to launch the Water Resilience Assessment Framework (WRAF). The Framework is designed to inform and support decisions and actions among stakeholders to ensure both short- and long-term water system resilience.
“As climate change challenges the viability of traditional water sustainability metrics, the Water Resilience Assessment Framework focuses on water resilience, not only because water is vital for life, but also because water is critical in every aspect of the systems that enable and fuel our economies,” said Jason Morrison, President of the Pacific Institute and Head of the CEO Water Mandate. “This iterative method can be used with other water-management processes already in use to share an understanding of our progress to attain shared resiliency goals,” he explained.
According to the recently released report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Climate (IPCC), continued climate change trends are projected to further intensify the global water cycle, including its variability and the severity of wet and dry events. Shocks and stresses, both predictable and unforeseen, affect the resilience of water systems and the stakeholders that rely on them.
"What happens when climate change breaks rules we've used to stay profitable, sustainable, and efficient? Resilience is about choosing which rules to keep and which ones to evolve--or drop,” said John Matthews, Executive Director of AGWA. “The Water Resilience Assessment Framework is designed to make resilience a predictable outcome in an unpredictable world. The WRAF identifies the steps and indicators that help us know what to worry about and when, and how to know if we're moving closer to or away from our goals.”
The Framework aims to facilitate a shared understanding of water system resilience and allow practitioners to develop common measurable goals and outcomes for stakeholder and resilience planning. The WRAF consists of four key steps: visualizing the system, developing a resilience strategy, testing the resilience strategy and evaluating.
The project was launched in 2019 with seed funding from BHP and additional support from the Swiss Development Corporation and other CEO Water Mandate endorsing companies. It builds on the benefits of common water accounting and other sustainability approaches, illuminating the connections among the dynamic hydrologic, economic, and social systems that make up a water system, and enabling effective, meaningful action for water security for all.
“BHP supports the WRAF to further our commitment to work for a water-secure world. The WRAF is a notable advance for our priorities of building transparency, collaboration and innovative practice in water stewardship,” said Jed Youngs, BHP Water Stewardship Practice Lead of BHP.
IWMI’s Director General, Mark Smith, stated “Water resilience is both art and science. We need to bring to bear technical and institutional capabilities that meet the social, technological, and innovation challenges of resilience. But we must also draw upon the art of partnership – to bring together local to global, as well as civil society and science, and public and private. The Water Resilience Assessment Framework promises a reference point of data and measurement to make this process more successful.”
To support its application by key audiences, the WRAF will further develop three key sector specific guidance documents focused on business, urban planners and basin authorities. These additional support materials will be launched in 2022.
AGWA’s vision is for effective climate change adaptation and mitigation practices to be mainstreamed and enabled within water resources management decision-making processes, policies, and implementation. The mission of AGWA is to provision tools, partnerships, guidance, and technical assistance to improve effective decision making, action, governance, and analytical processes in water resources management, focusing on climate adaptation and mitigation. For more information, visit www.alliance4water.org/.
About the BHP
BHP is a world-leading resources company. We extract and process minerals, oil and gas, with more than 80,000 employees and contractors, primarily in Australia and the Americas. Our purpose is to bring people and resources together to build a better world. We do this through our strategy: to have the best capabilities, best commodities and best assets, to create long-term value and high returns. We are among the world’s top producers of major commodities, including iron ore, metallurgical coal and copper.
About the CEO Water Mandate
The CEO Water Mandate is a United Nations Global Compact initiative that mobilizes business leaders on water, sanitation, and the Sustainable Development Goals for corporate water stewardship. Endorsers of the Mandate commit to continuous progress against six core elements (direct operations, supply chain and watershed management, collective action, public policy, community engagement and transparency) and in so doing understand and manage their own water risks. Established in 2007 and implemented in partnership with the Pacific Institute, the Mandate was created out of the acknowledgement that global water challenges create risk for a wide range of industry sectors, the public sector, local communities and ecosystems alike. For more information, follow @H2O_stewards on Twitter and visit our website at ceowatermandate.org.
The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is an international, research-for-development organization that works with governments, civil society, and the private sector to solve water problems in developing countries and scale up solutions. Through partnership, IWMI combines research on the sustainable use of water and land resources, knowledge services, and products with capacity strengthening, dialogue, and policy analysis to support implementation of water management solutions for agriculture, ecosystems, climate change, and inclusive economic growth. Headquartered in Colombo, Sri Lanka, IWMI is a CGIAR Research Center and leads the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). Find out more at www.iwmi.org.
About the Pacific Institute
The Pacific Institute envisions a world in which society, the economy, and the environment have the water they need to thrive now and in the future. In pursuit of this vision, the Institute creates and advances solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges, such as unsustainable water management and use; climate change; environmental degradation; food, fiber, and energy production for a growing population; and lack of access to freshwater and sanitation. Since 1987, the Pacific Institute has cut across traditional areas of study and actively collaborated with a diverse set of stakeholders, including policymakers, scientists, corporate leaders, international organizations such as the United Nations, advocacy groups, and local communities. This interdisciplinary and nonpartisan approach helps bring diverse interests together to forge effective real-world solutions. Since 2007, the Pacific Institute has also acted as co-secretariat for the UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate, a global commitment platform that mobilizes a critical mass of business leaders to address global water challenges through corporate water stewardship. More information about the Pacific Institute and our staff, directors, and funders can be found at www.pacinst.org.
About the United Nations Global Compact
As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Our ambition is to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change. With more than 12,000 companies and 3,000 non-business signatories based in over 160 countries, and 69 Local Networks, the UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative — one Global Compact uniting business for a better world. For more information, follow @globalcompact on social media and visit our website at unglobalcompact.org.
World Resources Institute (WRI) is a global research organization that spans more than 60 countries, with international offices in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States, regional offices in Ethiopia (for Africa) and the Netherlands (for Europe), and program offices in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Our more than 1,400 experts and staff turn big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. More information at www.wri.org.