By: Will Sarni, Deloitte Consulting, LLP

Will Sarni is a director with Deloitte Consulting LLP and leads enterprise water strategy for Deloitte’s Sustainability Services. He is an internationally recognized thought leader on sustainability and is the author of the recently published Corporate Water Strategies (Earthscan 2011) and the forthcoming book Water Tech – A Guide to Innovation and Business Opportunities (Earthscan 2012).

This is not a top 10 list of big ideas and trends in the world of water for 2015. Many of these are a repeat of my recap of 2014 and thoughts on what to expect. There is so much activity, both noise and progress, that no single list will correctly capture the “best.”

Instead this is very much my take on what I believe is important progress, essentially the good news for the year in the world of water. With that in mind, here we go. 

Sustainable Development Goal No. 6

Unlike the Millennium Development Goals, the SDGs have a goal focused on access to clean water and sanitation. This is a key event — the public sector will explore ways to achieve this goal and the private sector also will be a key stakeholder in helping to achieve this goal. A few key aspects of SDG No. 6 will be who will pay to achieve these goals and how do we measure progress. I believe information/communication technologies will have a role to play in achieving the goal and monitoring progress. 

Value of water and water stewardship

There is traction in moving from water management to water stewardship, and part of that transition includes greater focus on the value of water. While many companies are still thinking about the price and cost of water, leading companies are quantifying the value of water to their operations and embedding this into their business growth strategies. The Alliance for Water Stewardship, Value of Water Coalition and the IFC/WWF Value of Water report (PDF) all helped drive a more sophisticated view of water and its value to the public and private sectors. 

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