Freshwater is essential for all human life and while water is not in short supply planet-wide, as demands on freshwater increase and climate change reduces its supply, it is crucial that companies and cities have a clear way of minimizing their own impact on freshwater.

What the hub is working on
In 2019, the freshwater hub developed the shared vision for the hub, drafted a team charter, mapped stakeholders, and began discussing internal governance. With new funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Porticus Foundation, the hub will further advance this work, starting with the creation of a technical advisory group by March 2020.

The hub partners (plus additional organizations) have produced, “Setting Site Water Targets Informed By Catchment Context: A Guide For Companies”.

While the water risks companies face continues to rise, there has been little guidance available on setting robust water targets to mitigate this risk.This guide helps companies make decisions that incorporate local context and shared goals within the scope of a target for a corporate facility. This will drive performance that mitigates risk, inform collective action, and protect water security. Site-level contextual targets are focused on the right things (like priority SDG 6 indicators) in the right place, (e.g. basins facing high water risk and/or basins with shared challenges). If the data exists, it should be used but contextual target guidance provides a path forward if robust quantitative data isn’t available.

How to get involved
The hub is drafting and pilot testing a corporate methodology, with expected completion by the end of 2021. Please get in touch to learn more about the timeline for corporate piloting if you’re interested in being considered for this.

Pilots for site-level water targets incorporating local context are still underway. If your company is interested in joining a Brazilian pilot, please contact us to learn more.

Considering the local context for site targets builds a foundation for the mindset needed for a science-based target for freshwater. Science-based targets for freshwater are anticipated to have a greater focus on quality/quantity thresholds, to be based on hydrological science and to include an allocation of responsibility.

The freshwater team invites interested companies to apply to be part of their Practitioner Advisory Group (Terms of Reference are available here). If you're interested in applying please email jess@sciencebasedtargetsnetwork.org before May 29th.. We will make a final decision on membership and alert all applicants around June 15th.

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