The agriculture sector is one of the biggest “consumers” of water in the world. Water management is therefore a critical aspect of sustainable agriculture. Not surprising, therefore, is the private sector’s interest in their water footprint in the production of agricultural raw materials for their products.
Not too long ago the World Business Council for Sustainable Development published the Water for Business: Initiatives Guiding Sustainable Water Management in the Private Sector , which was jointly developed with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). You will also be able to find the Global Water Tool here that allows a quick and simple analysis of the following:
a) Compares your company’s water uses (including staff presence, industrial use, and supply chain) with validated water and sanitation availability information – on a country and watershed basis.
b) Allows calculation of water consumption & efficiency.
c) Establishes relative water risks in your company’s portfolio to prioritize action – including more detailed assessment.
d) Creates key water GRI Indicators, inventories, risk and performance metrics and geographic mapping.
e) Enables effective communication with internal and external stakeholders on your company’s water issues.
There is no immediate link between water management and intellectual property per se except that various data associated with water management in particular countries, for example, can be sensitive to release. This demands appropriate IP management practices within organisations that deal with this type of research, as well as to ensure that confidentiality is respected in the event of publication. I would be interested to hear if others out there face this issue and how it is tackled by scientists and research institutes, whilst at the same time encouraging critical analysis or publication about the management of this important resource.
Post written by Guat Hong Teh, CAS-IP Legal Specialist