According to a new report from the U.K.-based Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a majority of the world’s largest companies, including those in the food and beverage sectors, have developed specific water policies, strategies and plans, with 39 percent reporting experience with disruption to operations from drought or flooding, declining water quality or increases in water prices. Titled “CDP Water Disclosure 2010 Global Report,” the study is based on responses from 175 large corporations that conduct water-intensive operations around the world. CDP contends that those most at risk are food and beverage companies, which, among those responding to the survey, had all set specific water-related targets for their businesses and were all able to identify whether their operations were located in water-stressed regions.

According to CDP, “Demand for water is projected to outstrip supply by a staggering 40 percent by 2030, and an estimated half the world’s population are likely to live in areas of high water stress by the same year.” The goal of CDP’s water disclosure initiative “is to make meaningful, systematic and comparable reporting on water a standard corporate practice globally, enabling investors, companies themselves, governments and other stakeholders to put this data at the heart of their decisionmaking. More immediately, we seek to raise awareness and enhance understanding of water-related issues.” One investment manager involved with the project was quoted as saying that companies ignoring water dangers “pose a risk to investments.” See The Guardian, November 12, 2010.