Background to the HSBC Water Programme
Water is a huge and growing global challenge. It is essential to all human activity and a fundamental driver of all socio-economic growth but, as a resource, it is under strain from population growth, development and climate change.
Water has the tremendous potential to unlock economic growth as well as changing the lives of individuals and transforming the livelihoods of communities. The HSBC Water Programme will move all the main levers of the global water challenge by: improving water resource management in key river basins; bringing safe water and sanitation to over a million people; and raising awareness about the global water challenge.
That is why we will share the findings from our HSBC Water Programme and research with policymakers, NGOs and businesses worldwide, so we can play our part in tackling one of the greatest challenges of our time.
The HSBC Climate Partnership
The HSBC Water Programme follows the success of the award-winning HSBC Climate Partnership, a five year $100 million programme to reduce the impact of climate change on people, forests, freshwater and cities, and accelerate the adoption of low-carbon policies. The Climate Partnership won the Charity Partnership: Financial and Professional category at the Business Charity Awards 2012. To find out more about the work and results, click here.
The global water challenge
Under strain of demographic growth, development and climate change, water is a huge and growing global challenge:
- Nearly 800 million people are without access to safe water
- 2.5 billion people are living without access to basic sanitation
- And quarter of the world’s population live in eco-systems that are under threat from water scarcity and are being damaged by poor water resource management
- It is estimated that 90% of all population growth by 2050 will occur in regions where water is scarce and where there is currently no sustainable access to water
At the same time, water is essential for all human activity and is a fundamental driver of all socio-economic growth:
- Freshwater underpins socio-economic development in complex ways that vary enormously between countries and communities
- Two that are vital for global economic growth are the importance of access to safe water and sanitation, and water resource management:
- Access to safe water and sanitation is the first step out of poverty for individuals. Water accessibility and improved sanitation allows girls to continue their education beyond puberty, enables people to start and grow businesses, and ensures the risk of disease is greatly reduced
- Effective water resource management sustains eco-systems, industries and communities by protecting the vital natural water resources they depend on such as river basins
- Effective management includes – efficiently sharing or allocating the available water supply, ensuring water consuming industries are using it as efficiently as possible, protecting water quality and sustaining eco-systems, and managing water infrastructure
It is because water is vital to building healthy communities and developing national economies that HSBC has chosen to invest its time and resources in the HSBC Water Programme.