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What is the organization's total volume of water discharge? 

This metric is based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Guidelines. It covers part of the reporting requirements of Indicator G4-EN22 –‘Total water discharge by quality and destination’. The Indicator asks for additional information, not included in this metric, G4-EN22-a – ‘Total volume of planned and unplanned water discharges by destination and by quality of the water including treatment method and whether the planned and unplanned water discharges reused by another organization’.

The amount and quality of the water discharged by the organization is directly linked to ecological impact and operational costs. By progressively improving the quality of discharged water or reducing volumes, the organization has the potential to reduce its impact on the surrounding environment. Unmanaged discharge of effluents with a high chemical or nutrient load (principally nitrogen, phosphorous, or potassium) can have a significant impact on receiving waters. This, in turn, can affect the quality of the water supply available to the organization and its relationship with communities and other water users.

The sum of water effluents discharged over the course of the reporting period to subsurface waters, surface waters, sewers that lead to rivers, oceans, lakes, wetlands, treatment facilities, and ground water either through: a defined discharge point (point source discharge), over land in a dispersed or undefined manner (non-point source discharge) and wastewater removed from the organization via truck. Discharge of collected rainwater and domestic sewage is not regarded as water discharge.


This metric is looking for total water discharge:

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-EN22, EN22 or water discharge

  • 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 water discharge by quality and destination - G4-EN22-a:

  • Identify planned and unplanned water discharges (excluding collected rainwater and domestic sewage)

Reporting on this Indicator should include the following information, and this should be represented as a comment on the metric value:

  • G4-EN22-b: Standards, methodologies, and assumptions used