Leading CEOs launch global water resilience strategy to span 100 water-stressed basins by 2030

The Water Resilience Coalition, an industry-driven, CEO-led initiative that aims to put water stress at the top of corporate agendas and preserve the world’s freshwater resources, announced its corporate sector-led 2030 strategy to increase global water resilience through collective action. 

By 2030, the strategy sets to achieve quantifiable positive water impact in 100 water-stressed basins, contributing to water security for 3 billion people. The plan also commits by 2030 to enable equitable access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for more than 300 million people.

The Water Resilience Coalition is part of the CEO Water Mandate, a partnership between the UN Global Compact and the Pacific Institute. The Coalition includes companies such as Ecolab, Microsoft, Starbucks, GSK, Danone, Gap Inc., and ABInBev, and partners such as WaterAid, water.org, UNICEF.

The Coalition’s 2030 strategy will be achieved through scalable collective action projects, which unite companies, NGOs and the public sector to act locally on water, leveraging member companies’ knowledge and unique capabilities, and developing innovative financing mechanisms. 

The strategy calls for Coalition companies to rapidly scale collective action on water, initiating collective action in 100 basins by 2025 and fully scaling that work by 2030. Water Resilience Coalition member companies are currently engaged in 12 co-funded collective action water projects in 11 prioritized basins. These projects increase water resilience through investments in nature-based solutions, regenerative agriculture, wastewater recycling, water reuse and other resilient approaches.

As part of the strategy announced, Water Resilience Coalition companies commit to achieve Net Positive Water Impact (NPWI), by 2050. Launched by the Coalition in 2020 as part of the UN Global Compact SDG Ambition, NPWI is a global framework for quantifying how companies ensure their contributions exceed their impacts on water stress in the same region. Achieving NPWI contributes to reducing water stress measured through water availability, water quality, and water accessibility.

More than 2 billion people currently live in water-stressed regions, more than 2.2 billion lack safe drinking water access and a 56 percent global water deficit is projected by 2030. According to the UN, the speed of action must be quadrupled to achieve the global goals for water.