Water 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.
- Corporate Water Stewardship
- Shale Energy & Water Risk
- Water Infrastructure and Financing
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.
Restoring Flows: Financing the Next Generation of Water Systems A Strategy for Coalition Building
May 11, 2012
- In this report, Ceres and American Rivers join forces to highlight the importance of bringing together environmentalists, economists, water utilities, water users, financial institutions, foundations, investors and labor groups to create opportunities for the creation of shared pursuits beyond the boundaries of politics, watersheds and economic sectors that typically define our relationship to water.
Charting New Waters: Financing Sustainable Water Infrastructure
Jan 26, 2012
- The Financing Sustainable Water Infrastructure report is the product of a meeting convened by The Johnson Foundation, in collaboration with American Rivers and Ceres, which brought together a group of experts to discuss ways to drive funding toward the infrastructure needed for the 21st century.
The Ceres Aqua Gauge: A Framework for 21st Century Water Risk Management
Oct 18, 2011
- October 2011 - This report introduces experts and newcomers alike to the Ceres Aqua Gauge™, a new framework for assessing corporate management of water risk. The report provides a broad overview of how competing freshwater demands and limits to supply are beginning to affect corporate financial performance in a range of industrial sectors. The report also identifies trends in corporate and investor responses to emerging water issues — and explains how investors can identify holdings in their portfolios more likely to be exposed to water-related risks.
The Ripple Effect: Water Risk in the Municipal Bond Market
Oct 22, 2010
- October 2010 - Growing water scarcity in many parts of the United States is a hidden financial risk for investors who buy the water and electric utility bonds that finance much of the country's vast water and power infrastructure, according to this first-ever report by Ceres and Water Asset Management. The report evaluates and ranks water scarcity risks for public water and power utilities in some of the country's most water-stressed regions, including Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas and Atlanta.
Murky Waters? Corporate Reporting on Water Risk
Feb 11, 2010
- February 2010 - This report is the ﬁrst comprehensive assessment and ranking of water disclosure practices of 100 publicly-traded companies in eight key sectors exposed to water-related risks: beverage, chemicals, electric power, food, homebuilding, mining, oil and gas, and semiconductors. The report highlights best practices, key gaps and trends in water reporting and lays out a set of recommendations for companies and investors.