A recent report prepared for the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a United Kingdom-based, independent not-for-profit organization, claims that companies are reporting more negative impacts from drought and other water-related issues than in the past. The report notes that while these issues are increasing, a concomitant increase in board oversight of water issues or in information provided to investors about water risks is not evidently occurring. In preparing the report, CDP requested information from 318 companies that are part of the Global 500 and are in water-intensive sectors or exposed to water-related risks. Prepared for CDP by Deloitte, the report reviewed data from the 185 companies that responded to the requests.
Fifty-three percent of respondents said that they experienced negative impacts from water-related issues, including water scarcity, business interruption and property damage from flooding, as well as rising costs to comply with discharge standards, regulatory uncertainty and poor water quality during the past five years. Sixty-eight percent view water as a substantial risk to their business. These figures compare to 38 percent and 59 percent, respectively, in 2011. More companies also report an increased awareness of water-related risks in their supply chains.