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Water

Ceres brings unique capital market solutions to our water challenges. We are changing the way that businesses and utilities manage water, and the way that investors consider water risk in their investment decisions.

Faucet dripping waterWater makes life possible. It makes economies function. But, in many parts of the United States, freshwater resources are in jeopardy, creating profound long-term risks for businesses and communities.

Our water supplies are under severe strain due to growing demand, pollution and climate change. Re-thinking how we value water is a critical first step in reducing these strains and safeguarding future water supplies.

Water is a finite and precious resource, but our economic systems treat it as limitless and of little value. For many companies and other water users, their water bills are so small that it hardly seems worthwhile to conserve. The result is unsustainable water use across much of our economy—from industry to agriculture to homeowners.

Ceres brings unique capital market solutions to these challenges. We are changing the way that businesses and utilities manage water, and the way that investors consider water risk in their investment decisions. By reshaping how key economic actors value water, we can turn smart water management into a business fundamental and water stewardship into an economic imperative.

We focus on three key sectors with enormous responsibility for protecting our nation’s water security— water utilities, oil and gas, and agriculture. Taken together, these sectors are responsible for more than 90% of the nation’s water consumption. By improving their water management, we can build an economy that protects freshwater for the future.

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Reports:

Measuring & Mitigating Water Revenue Variability: Understanding How Pricing Can Advance Conservation Without Undermining Utilities’ Revenue Goals
Jul 10, 2014
As water utilities across North America undertake capital campaigns to finance the replacement and expansion of their systems, the need for confident revenue projections grows.
Water and Climate Risks Facing U.S. Corn Production: How Companies and Investors Can Cultivate Sustainability
Jun 11, 2014
This report provides new data and interactive maps on the risks facing U.S. corn production, as well as detailed recommendations for how corn-buying companies and their investors can catalyze more sustainable agricultural practices that will reduce these risks, preserve and enhance yields, and protect precious water resources.
Gaining Ground: Corporate Progress on the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability
Apr 30, 2014
This report evaluates how well 613 of the largest, publicly traded U.S. companies are integrating sustainability into their business systems and decision-making. The report— a collaboration between Ceres and Sustainalytics—assesses corporate progress across the four strategic areas first outlined in 2010 in the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability.
Hydraulic Fracturing & Water Stress: Water Demand by the Numbers
Feb 05, 2014
This Ceres research paper analyzes escalating water demand in hydraulic fracturing operations across the United States and western Canada. It evaluates oil and gas company water use in eight regions with intense shale energy development and the most pronounced water stress challenges.
The Future is Possible: Ceres Annual Report 2012
Sep 25, 2013
Our latest annual report highlights our accomplishments over the last year in mobilizing our powerful networks of investors and companies to integrate environmental and social concerns into their decision-making and operations. It discusses our efforts to move key economic players like the insurance industry and to transform capital market systems in order to address the most pressing sustainability challenges of our time—water scarcity, the depletion of natural resources, and the growing impacts of climate change.
Assessing Water System Revenue Risk: Considerations for Market Analysts
Aug 07, 2013
Water utilities are on the brink of extraordinary investments to replace aging infrastructure—the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that by 2030, capital expenditures of more than $300 billion will be needed to safeguard drinking water. Yet this investment comes at a time when Americans’ water use habits are changing—resulting in considerable uncertainty for water systems planning capital programs to replace or expand their assets.
Hydraulic Fracturing & Water Stress: Growing Competitive Pressures for Water
May 01, 2013
This Ceres research paper analyzes water use in hydraulic fracturing operations across the United States and the extent to which this activity is taking place in water stressed regions. It provides an overview of efforts underway, such as the use of recycled water and nonfreshwater resources, to mitigate these impacts and suggests key questions that industry, water managers and investors should be asking.
Disclosure Framework for Water & Sewer Enterprises
Apr 02, 2013
In its Report on Municipal Securities Market, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission recommends the development of best practices in disclosure to improve the fairness and efficiency of the municipal market. Given the heightened attention to credit analysis across the municipal market, and the shifting operating environment facing issuers within the water and sewer sector, Ceres is issuing this disclosure framework to ensure that all material information is provided to investors in the primary and secondary markets.
Water Ripples: Expanding Risks for U.S. Water Providers
Dec 11, 2012
As numerous western states are considering massive new water supply projects, a new Ceres report is suggesting caution. Citing shrinking federal funds, uncertain water demand and declining revenues to pay for the projects, the report recommends that utilities move carefully before embarking on major pipelines, reservoirs and other new infrastructure that will create financial risks for investors and utility customers alike.
Clearing the Waters: A Review of Corporate Water Risk Disclosure in SEC Filings
Jun 18, 2012
New Sector Analysis added: Ceres has added sector-by-sector analyses for each of the eight sectors reviewed in this report. Download this new version. This report finds that though overall corporate disclosures of water-related risks in financial filings have increased since 2009, much reporting remains weak and inconsistent especially in regard to data on overall water use, financial exposure and potential supply chain risks.