This report groups current methodologies and approaches to the valuation of water into five interrelated perspectives: valuing water sources, in situ water resources and ecosystems; valuing water infrastructure for water storage, use, reuse or supply augmentation; valuing water services, mainly drinking water, sanitation and related human health aspects; valuing water as an input to production and socio-economic activity, such as food and agriculture, energy and industry, business and employment; and other sociocultural values of water, including recreational, cultural and spiritual attributes. These are complemented with experiences from different global regions; opportunities to reconcile multiple values of water through more integrated and holistic approaches to governance; approaches to financing; and methods to address knowledge, research and capacity needs.
Chapter 2: Valuing water for the Economy
The value of water to agriculture, industry, business and energy can be assessed though an economic input–output perspective that variously quantifies returns or benefits, such as employment, product value per unit of water or product value-added.
Chapter 5: Valuing water for food and agriculture
Agriculture uses the major share (69%) of global freshwater resources. However, water use for food production is being questioned as intersectoral competition for water intensifies and water scarcity increases. Moreover, in many regions of the world, water for food production is used inefficiently. This is a major driver of environmental degradation, including depletion of aquifers, reduction of river flows, degradation of wildlife habitats, and pollution.
Chapter 6: Valuing water for energy, industry and business
In the energy, industry and business (EIB) sector, water is seen as both a resource with
withdrawal and consumption costs determined by prices, and a liability involving treatment costs and regulatory penalties, leading to a perception that water is a cost or risk to sales and compliance. Business tends to focus on operational savings and short-term revenue impacts, and tends to pay less attention to water value in administrative costs, natural capital, financial risk, future growth and operations, and innovation.
- Publication // The consumptive water footprint of electricity and heat: a global assessment
- Publication // The water footprint of food
- Publication // Structure Dynamics and Risk Assessment of Water-Energy-Food Nexus: A Water Footprint Approach