The first step in conducting an initial
risk assessment of a company's water uses is to evaluate
the business "importance" of each identified
water use. If a change in the current use would result
in significant business constraints, then there may
be some risk that should be addressed. Consider each
water use identified in Module
1 to determine how sensitive the business is to
external changes that could affect this water need.
A business would be highly sensitive to a change if
it, or the companys response options, would result
in significant business constraints. External changes
can result in steep increases in water costs, production
delays, limits on production, or strong community opposition
to company activities. For each water use, consider
how sensitive the business is to a change in 1) water
price, 2) water availability, 3) water quality, or 4)
the loss of a specific source. By exploring the business
sensitivity to water-related changes, tool users should
be able to make a qualitative assessment of the business
importance of each use. Sensitivity to external
changes can be assessed by considering the following
- Source importance: How
significant are the business costs of meeting this
water need using alternative water sources? Are other
water sources available? How long would it take to
get other sources on line? What changes would be needed
to production processes or services to accommodate
the new source?
- Water price: How sensitive
is the business to fluctuations in the price of water
related to this use? What would the business impact
be if the price of water doubled, or increased ten-fold?
- Water quantity: How sensitive
is the business to fluctuations in the availability
of water related to this use? What would the business
impact be if water availability is reduced by 10%,
50%, or completely disrupted due to terrorist activity
or natural disaster?
- Water quality: How sensitive
is the business to fluctuations in the quality of
water available for this use? Would additional water
treatment costs be incurred? Would it be necessary
to seek alternative water sources?
For the Module 2 risk assessment,
sensitivity to each issue can be assessed using simple
"high, medium and low" ratings.
to Module 2