Pacific Institute

Freshwater Resources: Managing the Risks Facing the Private Sector

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In recent years, a broad set of national and international water issues has begun to receive significant attention at all levels of society, from leaders at the United Nations to local communities in the United States and around the world. In part, this is due to a growing understanding of the complex interconnections between water and almost every other major issue of the day, including energy, climate, economic development, environmental health, and peace and security. The media and policymakers are increasingly focusing on water supply disputes, water quality problems, natural disasters, and privatization.

Corporations and institutional investors face their own specific challenges relating to water. In some cases, these problems will lead to decreases in water allotments, more stringent water quality regulations, growing community activism, and increased public scrutiny of water-related corporate activities. All of these factors may impact site selection, license to operate, productivity, costs, revenues, and ultimately, profits and corporate viability. Water-related risks now pose a potential multi-billion dollar threat to a wide variety of businesses and investors.

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