This metric tracks the total volume in Megaliters of freshwater that the organization withdrew across the globe in the last calendar year.
The GRI defines water withdrawal as the “sum of all water drawn from surface water, groundwater, seawater, or a third party for any use.”
Where there is a conflict with how local laws and regulations define freshwater, the local regulation where the entity is operating will apply.
(Note: 1 Megaliter = 1,000 cubic meters)
SASB specifies that “[w]ater sources include surface water (including fresh water from wetlands, rivers, lakes), groundwater, rainwater collected directly and stored by the entity, and water and wastewater obtained from municipal water supplies, water utilities, or other entities.”
SASB clarifies that “[f]resh water may be defined according to the local laws and regulations where the entity operates. Where there is no legal definition, fresh water shall be considered to be water that has less than 1,000 parts per million of dissolved solids per the U.S. Geological Survey.”
SASB further offers that “[w]ater obtained from a water utility in compliance with U.S. National Primary Drinking Water Regulations can be assumed to meet the definition of fresh water.