BSI partners with Waterwise to highlight water scarcity challenge

London, UK – BSI, the business improvement and standards company, is partnering with Waterwise, a leading voice on the efficient use of water, to explore degrees of water scarcity around the world and to understand more about how this can be addressed.

There is already compelling evidence of the scale of the challenge with water availability. According to Unesco, the global urban population facing water scarcity is projected to double from 930 million in 2016 to 1.7–2.4 billion people in 2050. BSI and Waterwise are partnering to highlight the challenge and uncover opportunities to change this, by assessing how scarcity impacts different countries and sectors, and identifying where effective action can be taken to accelerate progress to a sustainable and water-secure world.

The research will be developed into a global campaign to help raise awareness of what experts warn, without action, is an impending disaster, as water is essential for not just society but the environment upon which we are all dependent.

It will involve consultation with Waterwise’s international partner networks, including the American Water Association, the International Water Association and The Water Conservancy in Australia, to provide meaningful insight into the risks from a global perspective.

To build a full picture, the research will interrogate metrics including comparing water availability and use in different countries and cities around the world, alongside an assessment of what the future may bring. Other key research themes will include:

  • the reasons for using water wisely
  • insights on water wastage; awareness and behaviours; products and design; water reuse and water positivity.

The partnership sits alongside work underway internally at BSI to gather information about the organization’s water impact in terms of consumption and ownership, and to identify what is done currently to preserve water. These data will then be used to set a company-wide strategy for water preservation at BSI.

BSI provides standards and assurance for a number of areas of water management, including Water Safety Plans, which is a critical foundation for effective risk management and control for all types of biological, chemical, physical and radiological hazards.

This week is Waterwise’s Water Saving Week, an annual online event promoting awareness of water-related concerns and the need to use water wisely. This year’s daily themes are Water and Money; Water and the Environment; Water and Everyday Life; Embedded Water; and Water and Hygiene.

Martin Townsend, Director for BSI Centre of Excellence for Sustainability, said: "With the cost of living crisis we have seen a change in our perception of energy and its use. Reducing energy use, carbon emissions and making progress to becoming net zero is now a key focus. But an issue which deserves equal attention is that of water, which we are dependent on for a healthy life and which is essential for our environment and the food we grow.

Water is one of the earth’s most fundamental and precious resources. We are proud to launch this partnership with Waterwise to understand more about this challenge and how we can collaborate to uncover opportunities to improve water availability by providing solutions that will benefit people and the planet.

At BSI, we are seeing that the issue of water is of growing importance globally. As an organization focused on driving business improvement through consulting, audits, standards and training, we hope we can have a significant positive impact for society and business alike by opening up this conversation."

Nicci Russell, Waterwise Managing Director, said: "The need to use the water we have wisely has never been more critical – for people, organizations and the environment. We are actually running out of water in the UK already – and we all have our part to play. This Water Saving Week we are really excited to be launching this new project and relationship with BSI to help raise awareness of why we need to value water and to use it wisely. We hope it will help us drive the change we need, to make sure the water we do have can be shared fairly."