Global Water Roundtable to Set Standards on Stewardship

A new initiative launched during the Stockholm World Water Week will establish global standards for water stewardship, with the goal of addressing the threat of water stress, the increasing pollution of rivers, and a decline in fresh water wildlife species.

In conjunction with the announcement, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) also accepted a four-year $1 million grant from JohnsonDiversey, Inc. to support this groundbreaking work, which is being convened through the Alliance for Water Stewardship.

The Global Water Roundtable will provide a powerful new tool to improve the way water is managed by establishing rigorous, realistic water stewardship standards. The Roundtable’s primary objective is to bring together stakeholders from government, science and industry to evaluate and establish a clear set of standards and a certification system for efficient water use. When finished, these new standards will seek to recognize and reward water users who take steps to minimize the impacts of their water use on people and the environment.

The Roundtable is being organized through the Alliance for Water Stewardship and its organizing members, which include WWF, the Pacific Institute, The Nature Conservancy, Water Witness International, The Water Stewardship Initiative, the Water Environment Federation and the European Water Partnership.

“Water resources around the world are in a crisis and poor water management is a major factor,” said Jason Clay, senior vice president for Market Transformation at WWF. “The Global Water Roundtable is a pragmatic, consensus-driven way to recognize water managers who are reducing their water footprint.”

“JohnsonDiversey is pleased to support an initiative that addresses one of the world’s most urgent conservation issues,” said Curt Johnson, chair of JohnsonDiversey and a member of WWF’s board of directors. “Preservation of a vital natural resource such as fresh water is central to our commitment to pursue a cleaner, healthier future for the world.”

JohnsonDiversey President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Lonergan added, “Business leaders around the world cannot ignore the importance of water conservation in their future business plans. Establishing clear, global standards for water use is a critical step toward giving businesses the tools they need to ensure we have a sustainable supply of clean, fresh water for future generations.”

The Roundtable is modeled after similar standard-setting roundtables convened and facilitated by WWF that focused on 12 farmed fish species and four agricultural commodities (sugar, soy, palm oil and cotton).

Scientists know that many of the world’s rivers and lakes are polluted or running dry, resulting in a lack of access to clean water for drinking and sanitation and a serious decline in fresh water species. Current demand for water from cities, agriculture and industry is already unsustainable in many regions and is predicted to increase in coming years. These threats are compounded by climate change, which is profoundly impacting global water resources.

JohnsonDiversey, a global provider of commercial cleaning and hygiene solutions, is building on its support of water conservation by becoming a charter member of the Roundtable. In addition to funding the Roundtable’s work over four years, the company’s water management experts will also provide technical and operational input to establishing the new standards. JohnsonDiversey is also a member of WWF’s Climate Savers program and supports WWF’s fresh water science program.