This metric is based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Guidelines. It covers one of the reporting requirements of Indicator G4-EN8 – 'Total water withdrawal by source'. This metric is for recording the total volume of water used from all sources by the company. Additional sources the indicator specifies that companies should disclose include Surface water (including water from wetlands, rivers, lakes, and oceans), Ground water, Rainwater collected directly and stored by the organization, Waste water from another organization, Municipal water supplies or other water utilities.
Reporting the total volume of water withdrawn by source contributes to an understanding of the overall scale of potential impacts and risks associated with the organization’s water use. The total volume withdrawn provides an indication of the organization’s relative size and importance as a user of water, and provides a baseline figure for other calculations relating to efficiency and use.
The systematic effort to monitor and improve the efficient use of water in the organization is directly linked to water consumption costs. Total water use can also indicate the level of risk posed by disruptions to water supplies or increases in the cost of water. Clean freshwater is becoming increasingly scarce, and can impact production processes that rely on large volumes of water. In regions where water sources are highly restricted, the organization’s water consumption patterns can also influence relations with other stakeholders.