California Water Stewardship

Corporate Water Stewardship in California

The social, environmental, and economic well-being of the State of California is jeopardized by extreme drought, climate change, groundwater depletion and land subsidence, and a complicated legacy of water rights, allocations, transfers, and other policy decisions.

Companies with strategic interest in California increasingly recognize the need to develop new water stewardship initiatives together with diverse stakeholders—including their own employees and operations, suppliers, governments, communities, and customers—to improve measurement, management, and stewardship of shared water resources.

Water stewardship initiatives
that improve water security
are in everyone’s best interest.

In 2016, the CEO Water Mandate is facilitating a statewide collaboration that engages interested members of the California Water Action Collaborative and others in the business community to identify and explore specific opportunities to make positive contributions to the success of the California Water Action Plan.

This collective action by business leaders, industrial operations, agricultural producers, government agencies, policymakers, urban and rural communities, and water management experts will accelerate the state’s progress toward a sustainable water future by addressing chronic water challenges:

  • improving resilience to drought and climate volatility
  • exploring sustainable water pricing strategies
  • supporting access to water for vulnerable communities
  • restoring and protecting ecosystems
  • measuring and monitoring progress
  • ensuring broader understanding and engagement on effective water policy

Phase One: Outreach

Share Projects and Ideas

Your participation in Phase One will draw attention to successful collaborative water initiatives across the State, and inform the development of new water stewardship initiatives to meaningfully address California's short- and long-term water challenges.

In the survey of California water stewardship projects and ideas, we are beginning to explore specific opportunities for the business community to engage with others and work together to improve water security for all. Please use the survey to:

  • Provide information about existing water stewardship initiatives in California
  • Identify gaps in project work and share ideas for future collaboration with the business community
  • Articulate your organization’s interest in participating in pilot projects or Phase Two Implementation

Tell Others About This Initiative

Please feel free to share the link to this page with your network and ask them to participate in the survey! We would like to hear from anyone who has a California water stewardship initiative in progress, who could contribute ideas and expertise, or who would like to stay informed of emerging projects and progress.


As we continue to gather information using the online survey of projects and ideas, we will also expand our reach and facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogue between prospective partners in preparation for the implementation phase.

California Water Stewardship Leaders’ Summit
November 14-15, 2016
Sacramento, California

This two-day event will begin with a candid and focused Executive Dialogue between leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to define a shared vision and bridge understanding about specific actions that will support the California Water Action Plan and lead to a sustainable water future for the state. Building upon the leaders’ vision and the collective action concepts defined and developed throughout the outreach phase of this project, the summit will bring together initiative partners for a facilitated work planning session to define measures of success, identify approaches to bring project concepts to scale in the California, and explore detailed work plans and partnership opportunities to advance and accelerate new and ongoing water stewardship initiatives. Please contact Stefanie Woodward ( for more information.

California Water Stewardship Initiatives Workshop
April 22, 2016
Sacramento, California

The first full-day invitation-only workshop dedicated to corporate water stewardship in California will bring together representatives from business, state and local government, water management experts, NGOs, and other prospective partner organizations for a candid dialogue about the potential role of the private sector in California’s water security, best practices for transparency and integrity in collective action, and partnership opportunities for meaningful progress toward the shared goals of the California Water Action Plan. Please contact Stefanie Woodward ( for more information.

25th Annual California Water Policy Conference
April 20-21, 2016
Davis, California

The CEO Water Mandate will host a breakfast session on Thursday, April 21, from 7:30am to 8:30am in the main conference venue. We will share information about corporate water stewardship and integrity in water stewardship initiatives, and invite feedback from conference attendees throughout the day. The breakfast session is included with conference registration for all conference attendees. Please visit the California Water Policy Conference website to register.

Visit here again soon for more information about additional events as they are scheduled.

Phase Two: Implementation

Beginning in Fall 2016.

Please complete the survey of projects to stay informed about this initiative and pilot projects in the implementation phase.

In preparation for Phase Two, you may also register your organization and create project profiles on the Water Action Hub. The CEO Water Mandate developed the Hub to help organizations indicate their understanding of local water challenges, communicate the nature of their interests in working with others, and find potential partners in key regions and watersheds. The Hub will also be a great resource for information on the implementation, goals, and progress of Phase Two projects.

What you can do today

  1. Join other companies who have made commitments to water stewardship and endorse the CEO Water Mandate.
  2. Join other organizations working on water and engage with potential partners on the  Water Action Hub to collaborate on water projects in California and around the world.
  3. Explore the tools that companies use to evaluate risk, develop water stewardship strategies, set targets, and communicate progress in the Water Stewardship Toolbox.
  4. Familiarize yourself with key concepts related to corporate water stewardship, for example:
    • Water Stewardship can be understood as "the use of water that is socially equitable, environmentally sustainable, and economically beneficial, achieved through a stakeholder-inclusive process that involves site- and catchment-based actions."
           - Alliance for Water Stewardship
    • Water stewardship initiatives are coordinated partnerships between companies and other organizations that address specific water-related issues. They typically involve structured collective action, transparent decision making, and joint implementation.
           - CEO Water Mandate Guide to Integrity in Water Stewardship Initiatives
    • Social capital is the value of mutual understanding across social relationships that enables creative thinking and the generation of new possibilities for increasing support across people and communities and positive impact for society.
           - California Water Action Collaborative Social Capital Working Group

Facilitating Partners

The CEO Water Mandate is a UN Global Compact initiative that mobilizes business leaders to advance water stewardship, sanitation, and the Sustainable Development Goals in partnership with the United Nations, governments, peers, civil society, and others. Since 2008, under a Memorandum of Understanding with the UN Global Compact, the Pacific Institute has served as the Secretariat and facilitator of the CEO Water Mandate.

The Pacific Institute is a global water think tank that provides science-based thought leadership with active outreach to influence local, national, and international efforts in developing sustainable water policies. Since 1987, we have worked to create and advance solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges.

Ag Innovations cultivates the ideas and actions needed for healthy farms, communities, and ecosystems. We are trusted facilitators, process designers, researchers, and project managers with extensive knowledge and leadership connections in food systems and natural resource management. We are dedicated to unlocking the desire for change and innovation that is possible whenever we bring the right mix of diverse leaders together to tackle key challenges and co-create a better future. 

Partners & Sponsors