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Designed by
Metric Type
Value Type
water bodies and habitats affected
Research Policy
Community Assessed
Report Type
Corporate Social Responsibility Report

This metric is based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Guidelines. It covers one of the requirements of Indicator G4-EN26​ - 'Identity, size, protected status, and biodiversity value of water bodies and related habitats significantly affected by the organization’s discharges of water and runoff.'

This Indicator is a qualitative counterpart to quantitative Indicators of water discharge and helps to describe the impact of these discharges. Discharges and runoff affecting aquatic habitats can have a significant impact on the availability of water resources. Identifying water bodies affected by discharges provides an opportunity to identify activities in regions of significant concern, or areas where the organization may face specific risks such as community concerns and limited water resources.


This metric is looking for the total number of water bodies and related habitats significantly affected by the organization’s discharges of water and runoff:

For WikiRate researchers:

Companies who align reports to GRI’s Sustainability Reporting Standards often include a GRI Content Index or Annex where GRI disclosures, with GRI codes, are listed.

  • Use the GRI Index, CTRL F, Command F or search button on source preview to search for this index and metrics within the report

  • Use G4 codes, G3 codes or keywords to quickly find values, keeping in mind that some companies report on the metric using different terms, e.g. G4-EN26 or EN26, water discharge or water runoff

  • Always check the metric question and methodology for the unit of measure or currency - researchers may need to carry out calculations or conversions before entering the final metric value

  • Add comments documenting exactly where within the source you found the information (page number) and include details of simple or complex calculations or conversions made to determine the metric value

  • If you are unable to locate a metric value in a source you can search for additional sources where the data is available and add a new source

Further guidance on how to research values for GRI-based metrics is available here, including detailed guidance on adding, editing and Checking metric values.

Global Reporting Initiative compliance guidance for companies:

To calculate the total number of affect water bodies and related habitats - G4-EN26:

​Identify water bodies significantly affected by the organization’s water discharges that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Discharges account for an average of 5% or more of the annual average volume of the water body

  • Discharges that, on the advice of appropriate professionals (such as municipal authorities), are known to have or are highly likely to have significant impacts on the water body and associated habitats

  • Discharges to water bodies that are recognized by professionals to be particularly sensitive due to their relative size, function, or status as a rare, threatened, or endangered system (or support a particular endangered species of plant or animal)

  • Any discharge to a wetland listed in the Ramsar Convention (78) or any other nationally or internationally proclaimed conservation area regardless of the rate of discharge

  • The water source has been identified as having high biodiversity value (such as species diversity and endemism, total number of protected species)

  • The water source has been identified as having a high value or importance to local communities

Reporting on this Indicator should include the following contextual information as a comment to the metric value (per water body and related habitat):

  • Size of water body and related habitat

  • Whether the water body and related habitat is designated as a protected area (nationally or internationally)

  • Biodiversity value (such as total number of protected species)