Lessons from Case Studies in Water Footprint for South African Companies
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Lessons from Case Studies in Water Footprint for South African Companies

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Presentation at a Water Research Council (WRC) Water Currents Series sharing insights gained from water footprint analysis on selected case studies among South African corporates.

Presentation at a Water Research Council (WRC) Water Currents Series sharing insights gained from water footprint analysis on selected case studies among South African corporates.

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Lessons from Case Studies in Water Footprint for South African Companies Presentation Transcript

  • 1. WRC Project No. K5/2099 SA Water Footprints: Key Insights to Case Studies
  • 2. Global Water Risk ‘More than half of Global 500 respondents (53%) have experienced detrimental water-related business impacts . . . as as high as US$200 million (…and) more respondents (68%) report exposure to water-related risks’ CDP Water Disclosure, 2012
  • 3. What was this project about?  How Water Footprints can be carried out by South African corporates?  agriculture and the industrial sector  Examine case studies  Present key insights and take away messages
  • 4. Water Risks facing Business
  • 5. Why do a water footprint?  Enterprise risk  Disclosure  Regulatory engagement
  • 6. WF for SA Green water, 45 927 Blue water, 7 123 Grey water, 5 803 South Africa: WF of National Production (Mm3/yr) Crop Productio n, 35027 Animal Supply, 10901 Domestic, 0 Industry, 0 Green WF (Mm3/yr) Crop Productio n, 6412 Animal Supply, 282 Domestic, 390 Industry, 38 Blue WF (Mm3/yr) Crop Productio n, 3126Animal Supply, 0 Domestic, 2368 Industry, 309 Grey WF (Mm3/yr)
  • 7. Economy of South Africa Agriculture, forestry and fishing 3% Mining and quarry 6% Manufacturing 17% Electricity, gas and water 2% Construction 4% Wholesale, retail and motor trade, catering and accommodation 13% Transport, storage and communication 10% Finance, real estate and business services 24% General government services 15% Personal services 6%
  • 8. Economy of South Africa Agriculture, forestry and fishing 3% Mining and quarry 6% Manufacturing 17% Electricity, gas and water 2%
  • 9. Economy of South Africa Agriculture, forestry and fishing 3% Mining and quarry 6% Manufacturing 17% Electricity, gas and water 2% Finance, real estate and business services 24%
  • 10. Key Sectors Explored  Agricultural products (apples, pears & grapes)  Processing  Blue, green & grey WF  Extractive component  Chemical industry  Blue & grey WF  Agricultural goods (Carrots & beans)  Processed goods (cheese)  Manufacturing & downstream use (dishwashing liquid)  Blue, green & grey WF  Extractive component  Energy industry  Blue & grey WF  Economic contributor Agriculture Extractives Manufacturing
  • 11. Water Use in the Supply Chain Manufacturing / Production Inputs Distribution & Sale Consumer Use Company WF Facility WF(s) Product WF(s)
  • 12. SA Water Footprint Path
  • 13. Key Challenges and Insights  Truncation of the supply chain  Type of water footprint: blue, green or grey  Defined time period  Production versus consumption  Buy-in from high level water managers  Agreement on data sharing
  • 14. Key Challenges and Insights  Identifying the data you need & collecting it  Insufficient data & data accuracy  Chain summation vs step-wise cumulative approach  Examine every water footprint on its own merit  Attribution of water footprint  Interpretation of the Grey Water Footprint
  • 15. Key Challenges and Insights  Environmental Indicators  Economic and Social Indicators
  • 16. Key Challenges and Insights Local Government Communities, CBOs & NGOs Water User Associations Basin Authorities Stakeholder Platforms Water Ministries & National Government Provincial/State Government Water Utilities Water Footprint Assessment
  • 17. Informative Integrative Collaborative Consultative Dependency LOWHIGH InternalInterest/Capacity Requirement ExternalInterest/CapacityRequirement Reserve Capacity/ Interest Reserve Interest/ Capacity
  • 18. Critiques of Water Footprint Conceptual challenges  Natural assimilative capacity of environment is not accounted for  Currently no policy on WF as a tool for water resources management Methodological or technical considerations  Problematic representations of water quality  Evapotranspiration: Gross vss Net  Sustainability & appropriate responses to WF is still emerging:  Without a context, comparing WF is unhelpful  Simplifying WF to a risk weighting is also unhelpful  Difficult to access accurate data  Linked to buy in from water managers in a company  Standardising the applications of WF definitions  Variation in water quality standards is a challenge for Grey WF
  • 19. Recommendations Methodology, Assessment and Data  Get company involvement in the decision making  Standardise data usage  Employ expert practitioners  Always consider contextual issues  WF is both a metaphor and a metric Institutional and Policy Implications  Aim to encourage voluntary disclosure and transparency  Get agreement on industry-wide approach and application  Increase support for WF as a mainstream WRM tool