Our Chairman and CEO regularly contribute to the water policy debate, discussing water challenges and proposing solutions via high profile and influential public forums.
World Economic Forum
In a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2012, our Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe highlighted the global water shortage in relation to agriculture sourcing and production. Mr Brabeck-Letmathe warned that over the next two decades, the water shortfall would reduce global cereal production by a third and could trigger social unrest. He proposed collaboration and sustainable intensification of agriculture as a way to solve the world’s water crisis and feed its growing population.
Launch of Water Challenge blog
We launched a Water Challenge blog in August 2012, the personal blog of our Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe. Regular posts by him and other guest bloggers aim to stimulate discussion on important water challenges around the world. Topics covered in the blog this year included biofuels, urban water issues and the US drought.
2030 Water Resources Group
Since 2008, we have played a leading role in the 2030 Water Resources Group (WEF-WRG). Formed with the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group, McKinsey & Company and a consortium of business partners, the WRG has now been formally established under the roof of the International Finance Corporation (IFC). It works with national and regional governments, local stakeholder groups and expert institutions to address four key challenges:
- Lack of data and analytical tools
- Need for improved change management in government
- Difficulty in accessing practical expertise and good practice, and
- Low priority of water on national political agendas.
By focusing on these four challenges, the WRG seeks new insights into water scarcity, explores the opportunities and costs of possible solutions, and fosters results-based stakeholder dialogue.
In 2012, under the leadership of our Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, the WRG secured funding from the International Finance Corporation, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and other bilateral development agencies as well as other global companies.
Water Resources Group’s work in countries and watersheds
The water cost curve is the main tool devised and used by the Water Resources Group (WRG) to show a cost-effective approach in individual watersheds/countries to bring water withdrawals back into line with sustainable supply. Leadership by national/regional governments in setting and implementing water strategies is key in the approach of WRG. So far, governments have used water cost curves to set priorities in their water strategy in India (in the state of Karnataka), South Africa, Jordan, Mexico and Mongolia.
Preparatory analysis has been undertaken in Peru and Tanzania with the idea to continue with more in-depth work. We are active in several multi-stakeholder pilot projects to implement measures identified by governments as priorities within this cost-curve approach.