Water Risk and Finance Programme | WWF South Africa

	© Scott Ramsay

Water Risk and Finance

In a water scarce country, South African businesses should be assessing – and regularly re-assessing – the water-related risks in their own operations, as well as those of their suppliers.
The outcome of a water risk assessment is to inform long-term decisions for one’s supply chain based on positive or negative trends identified – and working towards possible mitigation responses and actions. This helps a company to better manage their water risk(www.waterriskfilter.panda.org).

WWF has created a global water risk filter tool which is based on risk methodology that has been tested by risk management experts from financial institutions and consultancies. It is based on a multiple-choice system with simple 1-5 scorings and tailored weightings. The underlying data is the best available global data source for each single risk indicator.

Designed for non-water experts, this tool provides a highly structured set of risk indicators with very limited information needed from you. The Water Risk Filter covers all relevant elements of water risks, all industries (standard classifications) and all countries of the world. It interprets the best available scientific data for you and translates it into risk numbers based on the questionnaire.

There are four key water risk areas that are relevant to most businesses – physical, social, regulatory and reputational. Direct physical risks relate to both availability (drought and floods) and reliability of water (storage and supply infrastructure); social risks include water access and the negatives of vandalism or theft of infrastructure; regulatory risks include changing water allocations and water-related licences; and reputational or market risks extend to water quality threats to the food industry as an example.

  • Sanlam
  • DBSA
  • IDC
  • Nedbank
Implementing partners
  • CSIR
  • DHI
  • Alternative Prosperity
  • African Centre for Cities
  • Investment Solutions  

Assess your water risk


Rather than spending billions on energy-intensive, technology-dependent solutions to treat or purify our drinking water, the focus should be on preventing the country’s scarce water resources from being polluted in the first place.

Christine Colvin, WWF-SA’s Water Programme Manager

	© Scott Ramsay
WWF is involved in water stewardship with communities and corporations, identifying water risks and in ensuring healthy resilient landscapes.
© Scott Ramsay