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How the Aqua Gauge helps companies

The Aqua Gauge is a comprehensive, Excel-based assessment tool for evaluating an existing water risk management strategy or building one from the ground up.

The Aqua Gauge is a comprehensive, Excel-based assessment tool for evaluating an existing water risk management strategy or building one from the ground up.

The Aqua Gauge helps companies:

  • Frame and assess options for managing water risk. The Aqua Gauge defines the multiple facets of an effective water risk management approach and allows companies to benchmark current activities against leading practices.
  • Prioritize and improve responses to water risk. The Aqua Gauge provides an intuitive, graphic output from which existing strengths and weaknesses are instantly apparent, facilitating prioritization where improvement is most critical.
  • Communicate key water risk information to stakeholders. The Aqua Gauge helps companies identify and disclose information most relevant to stakeholders in the most effective way. In particular, the tool output can be used as the basis for a dialogue with investors.


Learn how The Coca-Cola Company and Cummins Inc. are using the Aqua Gauge to improve their approaches to water risk management.

Questions the Aqua Gauge Can Address

I know our company is exposed to water risk. How do I prioritize management responses?

The Aqua Gauge lays out all of the different aspects of a truly effective corporate water risk management strategy in a clear, consistent manner. Companies can therefore start with a clear picture of what needs to be done and what is important.

Our company has made progress in managing our water risks. How do we compare to leading practice?

The Aqua Gauge defines leading practice in each area of the framework. These definitions reflect the input and feedback of representatives from over 50 companies, financial institutions and NGOs. Companies can assess themselves on a sliding scale from initial steps to leading practice in every area of the framework.

Managing water risk is complicated and there is a lot to do. What should we focus on?

The Aqua Gauge provides users with an intuitive, graphic output that clearly displays strengths and weaknesses. Once a true picture of performance is clear, companies can focus on areas of weakness and quickly identify the steps needed to improve responses and reduce risk.

Investors are asking questions about water risk. What should we be telling them?

The Aqua Gauge is designed for use by investors as well as companies. It provides a framework for a dialogue between companies and investors to discuss water risk and approaches to risk mitigation, and also supports companies' responses to the CDP Water request.

There are many water tools available. Why should I use the Aqua Gauge?

Most water tools currently available help companies with risk assessment - for example, identifying exposure to physical water scarcity. The Aqua Gauge instead helps companies with developing an effective risk response. Water is a local issue with local solutions, so managing water risk across businesses operating in multiple watersheds is about creating an enabling environment for effective risk management. The Aqua Gauge provides guidance on what needs to be done to address risk effectively and helps companies prioritize efficiently. The Aqua Gauge also provides clear guidance on how to respond to water-related physical, reputational and regulatory risks.

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What companies are saying...

Coke Logo“The Aqua Gauge reflects the most advanced thinking available on corporate water management. It’s a ground-breaking framework that we are using and sharing with suppliers and customers.”

— Greg Koch, Director, Global Water Stewardship, The Coca-Cola Company

Suncor Logo“The Aqua Gauge helped us reconfirm our strengths, and identify areas where we need to do more. For investors and stakeholders, it helps us provide accurate information so they can better assess and understand our water risks.”
— Prit Kotecha, Manager, Water Strategy & Solutions, Suncor Energy


Cummins (Correct)"The Aqua Gauge provided a flexible yet comprehensive view of the facets of water management, helping us frame our discussions to prioritize actions into a logical roadmap that fit our business."

— Todd Swingle, Environmental Manager, Cummins, Inc.

Meet the Expert

Brooke Barton
Director, Water Program

Brooke BartonBrooke leads Ceres’ water program, directing the organization’s research and corporate and investor engagement on the risks and opportunities related to growing water scarcity. She is the co-author of The Ceres Aqua Gauge: A Framework for 21st Century Water Risk Management. Brooke works with Ceres company members in the food and beverage sector, advising them on sustainability strategy and reporting, and coordinating dialogues between companies and their investor, NGO and labor union stakeholders.

Learn more about Brooke