After joining The Water Council (TWC) and the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) in early 2021, Watts has completed the first year of its journey to make a larger impact on local watersheds.
Watts first became a member of TWC and AWS to support the expansion of the company’s role in global water stewardship and sustainability. As part of that commitment, Watts began the Water Council's Corporate Water Stewardship Accelerator Program in April 2021 and has been working with its sites globally to assess current conservation measures and plan for future water stewardship projects.
To begin the program, 42 Watts sites were evaluated using the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas to comprehensively assess water risk at each location. The analysis indicated that all Watts facilities are in low or medium water-risk areas, as defined by stress and scarcity levels. Additionally, water withdrawal, onsite consumption and wastewater discharges were analyzed to determine which sites would have the highest upstream and downstream impacts on local water systems. As a result, eight sites were chosen to participate in the Accelerator Program based on water withdrawals, wastewater discharges, and local watershed risks. Each site collected data and information across the entire water cycle.
An important aspect of the Accelerator Program involves engaging and assessing the needs of relevant local stakeholders within the watershed. A variety of stakeholders, including water and wastewater treatment utilities, community-based watershed associations, city officials, vendors, and third-party services, were engaged in a direct dialogue at all eight sites. In total, approximately 152 data indicators were collected across the participating sites.
This data allowed Watts to get a detailed view of the watersheds and water risks across the sites, understand the role the company’s sites play in the watershed system, and pinpoint processes that can reduce water consumption and mitigate potential pollution.
The sites also explored water-related opportunities to find strengths in current practices, as well as opportunities to plan for future stewardship projects and events. This has resulted in the company’s commitment to specific long- and short-term actions to reduce water consumption, increase reuse, improve water quality, and reduce negative impacts upstream and downstream across the company’s sites.
In addition to these actions, Watts has updated its Corporate Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability Policy to reflect its goal to advance local and global water stewardship across its facilities, and in the communities where it operates, through stakeholder engagement and partnerships.
“Participating in this program has allowed us to better understand water as a shared resource and given us a community-based perspective when thinking about water usage and our place in this system,” said Ken Lepage, General Counsel, Chief Sustainability Officer & Secretary. “By looking beyond our footprint, we can make a larger impact in the watershed as a whole and our water stewardship journey has just begun.”
To learn more about Watts’ Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts, visit www.watts.com/our-story/sustainability.