How Are We Doing? Corporate Water Stewardship and Reporting
Getting credit for good water ethics helps companies make a "business case" for doing the right thing. CDP's Global Water Report 2014 (10 MB) was "written on behalf of 573 investors with US$60 trillion in assets". For an overview of CDP's water program, see this presentation by Cate Lamb (head of CDP's water program) at the UN Water Conference in Zaragosa, Spain, earlier this month.
The CEO Water Mandate, representing some 100 companies that endorse a mandate of six water-related actions, has recently come out with its own set of Corporate Water Disclosure Guidelines, with input from CDP and other groups.
A closely related initiative is the Water Stewardship Standard developed by the Alliance for Water Stewardship. The Standard prescribes what should be done, while the reporting guidelines provide an incentive for doing them.
Fracking and Water Ethics
The Environmental Costs and Benefits of Fracking, by Robert Jackson et al. appears in the current issue of the Annual Review of Environmental Resources, Vol. 39: 327-362, 2014. Click here for a summary of the article from Think to Sustain. A Global Water Forum Policy Brief on Water Impacts from Fracking, by Ben Roberts-Pierel, also urges caution, while the NGO, Wild Earth Guardians suggests a strict set of fracking guidelines to protect people and the environment in Colorado
A Charter for the Future
The German government has released its "Charter for the Future", based on citizen responses to the question, ‘What exactly will it take to achieve a unified world vision based on the principles of sustainability and fairness?’ See this blog post by Imme Scholz (German Development Institute).
A Theological Framework for Water Justice
has been developed by the Ecumenical Water Network of the World Council of Churches based on a consultation held in Bossey, Switzerland, from 8-11 December. The proceedings will be published later this year.
Water Management Guidlines for Chemical Production Plants have been issued by the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC).
Leo Heller has been named UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, replacing Catarina de Albuquerque. As Special Rapporteur, Heller will carry out thematic research, undertake country missions, collect good practices and work with key stakeholders on the implementation of the rights to water and sanitation. More details on the OHCHR website.
The Joint Principles for Adaptation are a statement by civil society organisations from across the world of what they consider to be a benchmark for good adaptation planning, including water.
Targeted Scenario Analysis: Presenting Ecosystem Service Values for Decision Making (Dec. 2013), is a new guidebook from UNDP intended to overcome the bias of convention when making new design and investment decisions.
Human Rights Standards for Conservation: An Analysis of Responsibilities, Rights and Redress for Conservation, a report from IIED by H. Jonas, D. Roe, and J.E. Makagon.
Women's Climate Action Agenda a report from WECAN (Women's Earth and Climate Action Network) by O. Orielle Lake, C. Greensfelder, and E. Colligan, advocates for "an earth-respecting cultural narrative."
Ethical aspects in the economic modeling of water policy options, by A. Biewald, M. Kowarsch, H. Lotze-Campen, and D. Gerten, in Global Environmental Change, presents conceptual tools to analyze and constructively deal with normative assumptions in applied economic models.
The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet, a report from the UN Secretary-General to the General Assembly, proposes six "essential elements" for the post-2015 development agenda: dignity, people, prosperity, planet, justice, and partnerships.
The Mining Working Group’s response to the Secretary-General's report proposes stronger human rights language, particularly for the SDG on the human right to water and sanitation.
Towards Achieving Food and Nutrition Security, and Changing Course in Global Agriculture, a discussion paper from Biovision-Foundation is also intended as input to the post-2015 development agenda.
Water-focused landscape management, by M. van Noordwijk et. al., is the water chapter from the new book, Climate-Smart Landscapes: Multifunctionality In Practice, published by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).
Biodiversity Mainstreaming Toolbox for land-use planning and development in Gauteng, (6MB) is a detailed guidance document from ICLEI which, though focusing on the region of Johannesburg, South Africa, has broad relevance to both land and water planning everywhere. [Thanks to Leslie Kryder for this info.]
Shopping for Water: How the Market Can Mitigate Water Shortages in the American West, a discussion paper from Brookings Institute by P. Culp, R. Glennon, and G. Libecap proposes unleashing water markets as a means to save water ecosystems.
SIWW Blue Paper 2014 (3 MB) is a summary report from Singapore International Water Week in June 2014.
Saving the Colorado River Delta, One Habitat at a Time is a report and video from National Geographic about efforts to restore flow to the delta through pulsed releases from the lowermost dam on the system. [Thanks to Sandra Postel for this info.]
Los Angeles, City of Water, a New York Times report by Jacques Leslie, documents how water ethics are changing in this unexpectedly environmentally concerned city.
Vatican statement to the High-Level segment of COP 20 in Lima might be a foretaste of the Pope's highly anticipated encyclical on the environment.
Applying the Water Stewardship Standard in Australia is the summary of a presentation by Michael Spencer, (Alliance for Water Stewardship), presented at the UN-Water conference in Zaragosa, Jan. 2015.
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