These actions can be understood in terms of their contribution to the broad policy goals embodied in sustainable water management:
Direct operations and supply chain management is the innermost level of policy engagement, focusing on improving plant performance and water-use efficiency to reduce physical water risk and to ensure a credible basis for higher levels of water policy engagement.
Watershed/catchment management and community engagement focuses on improving local- and regional-level water-resource policy development and implementation. It involves reaching out to local organizations and key stakeholders and initiating or participating in integrated regional catchment planning and management (using joint participatory platforms such as basin water boards and national water boards) to advance policy goals.
Collective action is founded on the premise that the scale of many water challenges is too great for individual companies to effectively address alone. Partnerships with key stakeholders are geared toward developing a clear and shared understanding of priority needs and interests; of issues that create risk for companies, governments, and communities alike; and of company and stakeholder actions that should result in mutual benefit.
Public policy advocacy can play out at all levels of water-policy engagement, using sustainable water management as a compass point to aspire to. Responsible policy engagement can consist of direct advocacy on a range of key public policy issues such as water pricing, demand-side management, green infrastructure development, the human right to water, and the promotion of sustainable communities through improved access and infrastructure, among other issues.
Transparency is both a principle and an operational component of responsible water policy engagement. Disclosure of a company’s intent in policy engagement, as well as the outcomes of the engagement itself, helps ensure alignment with specific water policy goals and sustainable water management more generally.
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