Imagining Pathways Forward: Corporate Water Stewardship and the Future of Global Water Governance

  • Thérèse Rudebeck
Part of the Water Governance - Concepts, Methods, and Practice book series (WGCMP)


Collaborating with companies is associated with opportunities as well as challenges. This final chapter starts by reviewing a few stories displaying examples of the promising work done by companies in concert with other stakeholders. Examples are given from the food and beverage sector, the textile and apparel sector, as well as the metals and mining sector. Collectively, these stories demonstrate the benefit that corporate involvement may bring to addressing water challenges. The chapter then reviews the evidence for advocating cautiousness in relying too heavily on companies to ensure collective water security. Specifically, the implications of the inherent nature of business, as well as power imbalances between companies and other actors are highlighted. However, despite not being an easy route, the chapter argues that engaging with companies is the only way forward if collective water security is to be ensured. It is therefore of imperative importance to find ways to navigate around the challenges and capitalise on the benefits. The chapter therefore ends with some reflections upon how to ensure that the actions companies take in the name of CWS can help shape a global water governance agenda that serves the public good rather than simply contributing to private profit.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thérèse Rudebeck
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Geography & Sustainable DevelopmentUniversity of St AndrewsSt AndrewsUK

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