We recognise that water is a shared and finite resource and we are conscious of the increasing concerns of our local stakeholders and other local water users regarding ongoing availability of water, security of access and the potential for impacts on water supply.
We report to the CDP water disclosure programme every year.
In 2016 we used the World Resource Institute (WRI) global water risk mapping tool, Aqueduct, to assess our assets. Almost 20% of our sites are located in areas with a high to extremely high baseline water stress or that are considered to be arid, 4% of which are located in areas of extremely high water stress.
We have developed a Group water strategy considering this analysis and previous assessments. The strategy has five primary objectives:
1. Identification and assessment of our material water impacts, risks and opportunities
2. Gaining an understanding of our water footprint
3. Development and implementation of water management plans covering each of our assets’ lifecycles to avoid, minimise or mitigate the impacts and risks
4. Improvement of our water management, including identifying and setting water-related targets
5. Ongoing engagement with significant stakeholders and public reporting on our progress
Water efficiency measures at different assets vary according to local needs, but may include:
- Reducing water loss via evaporation
- Switching to lower-quality water sources wherever possible
- Treating and reusing operational waste water
- Researching new sources of water (eg desalination)
- Deepening water storage dams to improve storage capacity
- Establishing water efficiency committees
- Improving tailings management (eg setting targets for water recovery from tailings)
- Employing best-practice agronomic techniques that improve water efficiency