The value of water means different things to different people. However, it is easy to agree on the fact that the full value of water—be it the extent or the form in which it is present—is rarely accounted for in investment decision making.
While the price of water remains low, the risks to this precious resource associated with investments are frequently overlooked by stakeholders, including investors, governments, community groups and businesses. This has already lead to ill-informed investment decisions, volatile and unstable financial returns and increased environmental degradation. In 2018 alone, corporate losses from water risks were estimated to be over USD 38 billion. With water scarcity and climate change likely to make these risks more acute in future years, it’s time to start accounting for and responding to the true and full financial value of water.
The new Valuing Water Database, the brainchild of WWF and German Investment company DEG, brings together 100+ tools to assist investment decision making in the water sector. Whether it’s a local government department valuing biodiversity from a wetland, a community valuing ecosystem services from rainwater or a mining company valuing drought risks of a local asset, the Valuing Water Database is now available to use and guide decision making at no cost.
IISD will use the database in its SAVi methodology for valuing natural assets—a recently published example of which can be found here.