Due to numerous factors, including climate change and increasing population, breweries are experiencing increased water-related business risks. The main threats are water scarcity and decreasing water quality, but other issues exist. Additional physical threats, such as flooding due to increased extreme weather events, emerging regulation and restrictions on water use, and expectations concerning sustainable operations can all affect brewery operations.
To help brewers understand the specific risks to their operations, the Brewers Association (BA) worked with the Antea Group who extracted data from the World Resource Institute Aqueduct and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Risk Filter tools based upon latitude and longitude coordinates of 5,832 breweries* in the United States. The Antea Group then leveraged their network of water experts to identify and evaluate regional and local risks. Using the collated results from these sources, Antea Group calculated current and future (2030 and 2040) composite risk scores for the individual locations. The Water Risk Assessment Tool provides ratings for overall business risk, supply quantity, watershed quality, municipal infrastructure, regulation and governance, and reputational risk as well as a composite score.
Access the Tool Now
Members who are logged into their account can use and interact with the tool directly on this page below. For help navigating around and suggestions on how to use the assessment results, use the buttons below to review the Tool Usage and Navigation Guide and the Mitigating Water Risks Guide.
For more detailed instruction, watch the BA Collab Hour webinar recording, Water: The Ultimate Supply Chain Challenge, to learn how to assess your brewery’s specific water supply and quality risks by using the tool, and hear about steps you can take to mitigate those risks.
Managing Water Risk Resources
Proactive management and planning means acting today to prevent and/or reduce future anticipated impacts on business operations due to water related risks. In becoming better stewards of dwindling water resources, brewers can position themselves as community leaders and create a net positive impact on their local watershed.
The following list of resources can guide breweries in their efforts to reduce water use, develop water stewardship programs, manage risks, and become proactive leaders in their communities.
- Water & Wastewater Sustainability Manual
- Wastewater Management Guidance Manual
- Sustainability Benchmarking Tool
- Get a Grip on Water – Tools for Measuring and Managing Water in Your Brewery
- Three Things You Should Know About Your Brewery’s Water
- From Pint to Pipe: Why Brewery Wastewater Grabs Regulators’ Attention
* The 5,832 breweries represent a snapshot of Brewers Association members in late summer of 2022 when the assessment was conducted. New members can get a reasonable assessment of their risk by locating a nearby brewery in their specific watershed. Future assessments may be conducted based on member interest and available funding.