Water is a finite and shared resource. As well as being a basic human right and fundamental to healthy ecosystems, water is vital to the functioning of the global economy.

However, increasing demand and competition, climate change and pollution are putting pressure on global water resources, creating risks for business and society. This in turn generates risks and opportunities for investors.

Water risk in agricultural supply chains

Climate impacts and competition for water affect agriculture, the world’s largest user of water. Consequently, companies with direct operations and supply chains that are dependent on agriculture are exposed to water risks.

Those companies that appropriately mitigate these risks and demonstrate good water stewardship characteristics will create value for their shareholders.

Collaborative engagement

The PRI coordinated an engagement with investors representing nearly US$6 trillion to have global, listed companies better disclose and manage water risks in their agricultural supply chains.

Investors focused on the food, retail, beverage and textile sectors, which rely on agricultural inputs from water-scarce regions.

More information on the engagement and research conducted on agricultural supply chain water risk can be found here.

A summary of the results can be found here.

Collaborative Engagement


Summary: engagement on water risks in agricultural supply chains (phase 2)

Since 2015, the PRI has coordinated a collaborative engagement on water risks in agricultural supply chains. The engagement focused on these supply chains because agriculture is a major user of water, responsible for the withdrawal of 70% of the world’s freshwater.

Engagement framework


An engagement framework for water risks in agricultural supply chains

In partnership with WWF, the PRI developed an engagement framework to facilitate investor dialogue with companies on managing their agricultural supply chain water risk.


Woman hand giving glass of fresh water to little child girl in the park

Why should investors care about WASH?

This podcast explores how water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) issues in company operations and supply chains affect investors and why investors should engage on the topic.