Companies and Water Resources Management

  • Thérèse Rudebeck
Part of the Water Governance - Concepts, Methods, and Practice book series (WGCMP)


This chapter examines CWS in the context of water resources management. It finds that companies that engage in these activities are driven by ‘enlightened self-interest’: the realisation that engagement will contribute positively to business continuity. However, the discussion also illustrates that although the underlying driver for all companies may be the same, the actions taken will differ across, and even within, sectors. Shifting away from the idea of ‘the private sector’ as one homogeneous entity, the chapter takes a closer look at companies representing the food and beverage sector, the textile and apparel sector, and the mining and metals sector, and studies their approach to stewardship. Each sector’s water use, water risk, and subsequent stewardship response is reviewed. Analysing why there are sectoral divergences, the chapter finds that a company’s approach to CWS depends upon where its water risk is located (and its consequent mitigation capacity), as well as the nature of its water use (water consumption vs. water withdrawal). When exploring why certain companies within these sectors move further in their water engagement than others, the chapter finds that not only risk, but also impact is a critical factor, as well as the company’s capacity and knowledge.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thérèse Rudebeck
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Geography & Sustainable DevelopmentUniversity of St AndrewsSt AndrewsUK

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