Guide to Responsible Business Engagement with Water Policy (2010)

This Guide provides a way for companies to address water risks and capture opportunities stemming from river basins conditions that cannot be achieved through changes in internal water management alone. The goal of this Guide is to make a compelling case for responsible water policy engagement and to support it with insights, strategies, and tactics needed to do so effectively.

Primary Functions

  • Understand ways to address water risks and capture opportunities stemming from river basins conditions that cannot be achieved through internal water management alone.
  • Learn insights, strategies, and tactics needed for effective and responsible water policy engagement.

Detailed Description


This Guide describes how companies can contribute to water-related public policy goals and support policy that is developed and effectively implemented for the benefit of all water users. It is founded on the belief that equitable processes that bring together affected parties will be a powerful tool for reducing shared water risks and combating this century’s emerging water issues.

This Guide offers practical measures for companies wishing to improve water management in the catchments in which they operate, while providing insights about the challenges of engaging with external stakeholders on water policy issues. Its principles, concepts, practical steps, and case studies are intended to facilitate companies’ responsible engagement with water policy. Such engagement is a critical component of advancing sustainable water management and will benefit governments, communities, and ecosystems, while helping companies reduce business risks and seize opportunities.

Tailored to both large- and small-scale commercial water users, this Guide emphasizes that the management of water remains a governmental mandate and that responsible engagement requires that private-sector actions align with public policy objectives. The Guide further recognizes that companies will face water management regimes along a broad continuum from highly functional to dysfunctional and that company decisions related to the scope, nature, and degree of engagement must vary accordingly. Finally, this Guide addresses common pitfalls of water policy engagement, such as avoiding inappropriate monopolization of policy discussions. In doing so, it provides direction for companies to avoid these hurdles through pragmatic, inclusive, and transparent advancement of sustainable water management.


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WWF Mitigation