Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Global Forum

Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Global Forum

Frank Water works with leading organisations to progress sustainable water for future generations.

Did you know a pair of jeans needs 8,000 litres of water to produce, a mobile phone requires a staggering 12,000 litres, and even a glass of orange juice takes 200 litres?  Over 40% of Europe’s water footprint lies outside its borders. 50% of the UK’s water footprint comes from unsustainable sources.

How do you feel about the way you shop?  I’m conflicted and I’m trying to do better.  Last week, I was in Edinburgh with some of the biggest companies and charities, discussing how we can collectively do better. The Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Global Forum is an annual meeting of companies and NGOs looking for new ways of approaching sustainable water management and one of the most significant water sector meetings.

I was asked, “Why is Frank Water attending meetings like this? Aren’t you supposed to work on getting water for the poorest?”  The answer is “Yes, we are focusing on water and sanitation access for the poorest, but we are focusing on sustainable access to water and to gain this, we need to work with all the water users – farmers and factories – not just communities”.

Over three days, there were lengthy discussions around the issues of the day including:

These questions and more are the ‘thorny’ issues of today. How collective action on water can become a reality so that factories and farms are sustainable and local people have their right to access clean, safe drinking water.

For Frank Water, this is something we’ve been working on for over a decade and have been specialising in for two or three years in our ‘Beyond the Boundary’ (BtB) project supported by Apple Inc. for the past two years.  The AWS Water Stewardship Global Forum was attended by the largest companies in the world, all looking for ways they can support action on water and climate change.

Bringing together companies, charities, and governments to ensure water is available to the poorest is the route to achieving the SDGs. Being in the room is sometimes uncomfortable but it’s also a huge credit to the Frank Water programmes team. 

So, next time you’re buying a phone, a t-shirt, a soft drink, or even a bottle of water, research how that company is helping efforts to combat climate change and ensure water is sustainably used. We are all part of the problem and need to work together to find solutions – especially to meet the needs of the poorest.

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