Implementation of sustainable water management strategies is of increasing importance to US businesses, especially as water resources that are significant supply or discharge points for their facilities become stressed. The US BCSD Water work stream focuses on design and implementation of projects that bring our members and other interested parties together in collaborative forums to address water quality, quantity, and storm water issues at the watershed or regional level.
These projects reflect the understanding that water management is a local issue, defined by the characteristics of a watershed and its use – including business, agriculture, livestock, municipal, residential, shipping/transport, and recreational users. The US BCSD collaborative work process that is the foundation for these projects is aimed at bringing watershed users together to develop sustainable water management practices that foster mutually beneficial solutions rather than competitive tensions.
The US BCSD has a lengthy track record in implementing facilitated collaboration projects to address By-Product Synergy, primarily focused on waste reduction and reuse opportunities. This work has demonstrated that industry-led collaborations can grow in value, lasting years, or even decades, and are capable of accomplishing long-term results. Shifting the focus to water management is expected to yield comparable successes.
Focus Area Activities
Located in the New Orleans to Baton Rouge Mississippi River Corridor, the Louisiana Water Synergy Project has been launched as a pilot project to demonstrate the viability of the US BCSD collaborative work process when aimed at watershed issues. Initial funding for the project has been provided by companies with operations in the region: ConocoPhillips, Entergy, and The Walmart Foundation. For more details on this project and its objectives visit http://water-synergy.org. One of the key objectives for the pilot is to develop a replicable work process that can be applied in other watersheds/regions.
The US BCSD participates in the World Business Council (WBCSD) project to define best practice watershed engagement strategies and approaches. The WBCSD has recently launched this project to identify and document global leading practices for water impact mitigation and watershed engagement strategies. This project is aimed at increased understanding and accelerating company participation in watershed approaches to sustainable water management; approaches that meet the needs of business, add value, and are practical to implement.