Water is life. It sustains and supports our well-being, our environment, and our economy. Yet we are putting increasing strain on the very system that sustains us, through land use changes, unsustainable consumption, and the waste and pollution we put into the water environment. In the face of climate change and the biodiversity crises, the central role of water and the water system is increasingly recognised.

Through our work we recognise first-hand that our current ways of interacting with the water system are no longer fit for purpose and that there is a need for a fundamental shift in how we think about and work with water.

And from our experiences working with public and private organisations and institutions across the globe that are on the frontline of the water crises, we have identified nine features that we deem essential for organisations to successfully respond to the challenges the water sector faces. We term these the necessary characteristics of future-facing organisations. We all have a role to play, and we all have a responsibility to contribute towards a radically different and better future relationship with water.

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A new future for water