Global Water Tool (GwT)

Year of publication : 2015

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The Global Water Tool (GWT) is a free, publicly available resource for identifying corporate water risks and opportunities which provides easy access to and analysis of critical data. It supports companies operating in multiple countries in starting their water management journey and them build long-term water management strategies which minimize risk and build long-term resilience. The GWT includes a workbook (data input, inventory by site, key reporting indicators, metrics calculations), a mapping function to plot sites with datasets, and a Google Earth interface for spatial viewing.

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By enabling water companies to compare their sites with the best available water, sanitation, population and biodiversity information on a country and watershed basis, it allows the companies to answer the following questions:

  • How many of their sites are in extremely water-scarce areas? Which sites are at greatest risk? How will this change in the future?
  • How much of their total production is generated from their most at risk sites?
  • How many of their employees live in countries that lack access to improved water and sanitation?
  • How many of their suppliers are in water scarce areas now and will be in 2025?

First launched in 2007 and updated in 2011 with the addition of biodiversity hotspots, new reporting metrics and summary outputs, the latest version of the GWT, released in March 2015 includes:

  • New datasets on water stress, more recent and comprehensive data, with improved modelling (WRI)
  • Updated datasets (e.g. FAO, WHO/UNICEF JMP WSS)
  • Updated reporting metrics
  • Improved GIS-based mapping
  • User-friendly additions (easier data import, improved navigation and offline capabilities, improved coding)

Essentially, it allows users to quickly map their locations and water use data against water, sanitation, population and biodiversity datasets, as well as stress indicators on a country and watershed basis, and in turn assess risks related to their global operations, supply chains, new projects and prioritize action. The tool is compatible with GEMI’s Local Water Tool™ to build water management plans at a specific site or operation.


Key benefits:

  • Understand water use/needs of operations in relation to local externalities (including staff presence, industrial use and supply chain, water consumption and efficiency) to make informed decisions
  • Perform a first level screening through maps or charts capturing key water performance and risk indicators of water consumption, efficiency and intensity. These metrics can then be used for communication with internal and external stakeholders and reporting under corporate disclosure initiatives like the Global Reporting Initiative, CDP Water, Bloomberg and Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
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