Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Ecolab Smart Water Navigator?

Water is essential to the health of our environment, communities and our economy. By 2030, businesses water use is expected to surpass supply by 56% (World Resources Institute) a disparity that will continue to increase if nothing changes. Businesses rely on water to operate and grow and water scarcity presents a growing risk to organizations. While most corporations have established goals to reduce water use, it can be difficult to make progress due to lack of tools and expertise at the facility level.

The Ecolab Smart Water Navigator is a publicly available, online tool that can help you protect your business and ensure continued growth. It offers a proven methodology to help organizations bridge the gap between corporate goals and local action. Ecolab’s Smart Water Navigator can help you by:

  • Enhancing your understanding of local water risks and the full value of water to your operations in financial terms
  • Providing water targets that are proportional to the local water stress
  • Delivering an industry-specific smart water roadmap to guide improved performance over time


How does the Smart Water Navigator work?

The tool uses a proven, four-step process, to enhance business resilience in your organization through smart water management.

Step 1: Identify | To get started on your smart water journey, the tool will help you identify the role of water in your operations, assess your current water use and quantify water-related risks in financial terms

Step 2: Target | Then, you’ll set sustainable water withdrawal targets for your facility to manage water-use risk

Step 3: Implement | Next, the Ecolab Smart Water Navigator will provide you with a practical, industry-specific guide to implement solutions that will improve water management practices at an individual facility level

Step 4: Track | In the final step, you can track your progress over time and revisit your smart water action plan to make adjustments based on changing circumstances.
Using the Smart Water Navigator, you’ll have the ability to:

  • Set clear targets and drive internal accountability to help reach those targets
  • Optimize water-use performance to help ensure more resilient operations
  • Build trust and credibility with stakeholders to drive collective action

And, by addressing shared water challenges, you will contribute to a world with enough water for all.


How is the Smart Water Navigator different from other publicly available water tools?

Several water frameworks and tools provide a good starting point for quantitative and systematic assessments of water risk. These include the World Resource Institute’s Aqueduct Tool and the World Wildlife Fund’s Water Risk Filter. The Smart Water Navigator is the first tool to place a monetary value on water quantity and water quality risks and provide users with an action plan to help mitigate and adapt to those risks. The Smart Water Navigator leverages two tools, the Water Risk Monetizer and the Water Action Assessment, to help users along their smart water journey.

The Water Risk Monetizer, as part of Ecolab’s Smart Water Navigator platform, is a publicly available global water risk tool that uses best-in-class local water basin datasets and scientific methodologies to monetize business water risks. The Water Risk Monetizer defines water quantity and water quality risks in financial terms to estimate potential risk-related increases in operating costs and possible loss of revenue their businesses.

Meanwhile the Water Action Assessment provides users with a high-level overview of where they land on the Water Maturity Curve and detailed action steps they can take to improve their water management practices. One way to improve water management practices is to make the business case for projects or technologies that help them better manage water. In other words, the Water Action Assessment is a tool that can help users identify how they are doing in terms of smart water management and the Water Risk Monetizer can help users make the business case for change.


Why is the Smart Water Navigator vital to addressing global water challenges?

Global water scarcity, a function of quantity (availability) and quantity of clean, freshwater threatens business vitality and demands action. The current cost of water does not account for real and future risks, making it hard to justify business decisions to reduce use. In addition, decreasing water availability and declining water quality factors make it harder for businesses to access the water they need to operate, which puts revenue at risk. Through the Water Risk Monetizer, the Smart Water Navigator provides valuable, actionable information including risk-adjusted water prices for incoming and outgoing water and calculation of potential revenue at risk. This helps businesses better understand risks and potential impacts so they can make more informed decisions around strategies and investments to mitigate water risks and enable growth.

And the Smart Water Navigator’s Water Action Assessment can help guide corporate and facility managers to reduce water use and utilize this valuable resource for long-term revenue growth. Managing a site’s water resources sustainably can result in reduced operating costs, reduced utility bills, reduced liability risk and occasionally increased reputational benefits. As competition for clean water increases, so will water-related expenditures. The Smart Water Navigator is designed to support assessment of a site’s current state of water performance, benchmark its performance over time, and help improve water performance by providing customized resources.


Who will benefit from use of the Smart Water Navigator?

The tool is designed for use by a range of business decision-makers, including:

  • Corporate decision-makers – individuals and teams who set enterprise business strategy (supply chain, operations, quality, engineering, sustainability)
  • Facility and operations managers (site level) – individuals and teams responsible for improving performance at the local level
  • Business consultants – third-party experts who help shape corporate strategy and decision-making
  • Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) – organizations that influence global water stewardship practices

Whether you input data for one facility, or a portfolio of facilities (using the Batch Upload Template Excel files), the Ecolab Smart Water Navigator can help guide your organization and facilities to consider the full value of water, develop a plan to execute appropriate strategies to mitigate risk, and link water management practices to long-term revenue growth.


How do I share outputs from the Smart Water Navigator?

There are options to download outputs as reports in .csv (comma separated values) or PDF formats. To share this information with someone else, just download the .csv or PDF report.

There is also the option to invite others to use the Ecolab Smart Water Navigator. This will not enable them to view your facility Dashboard. Other users in the same company with the same company email address will be able to view Water Action Assessment benchmarking data for the same company, but will not be able to view data for individual facilities.


How do I know the data I input into the Smart Water Navigator is kept confidential?

All accounts are private and other users do not have access to information in individual accounts. Please view Ecolab’s Privacy Policy for more information.


Who can I reach out to if I have other questions or need help?

For more information, you can download complete methodologies for both the Water Risk Monetizer and Water Action Assessment, including data sources and key assumptions. And, Ecolab’s sustainability team is here to help support you: please reach out to