Water program guidance

Timeline 2016

The timeline depends on how you have been requested to respond to CDP.

  • Requested by investors only
    Companies receive CDP’s information request in early February and must submit entirely by the June 30.
  • Requested by investors and customers (see supply chain program)
    Companies receive the investor request in early February and the supply chain request in early April. The main questionnaire must be submitted by June 30 and supply chain module by July 28. Follow the step-by-step guide to submit both CDP water and CDP supply chain questionnaires. (forthcoming February 2016)


The questionnaire is divided into several sections in order to fully understand the actions your company is undertaking to mitigate water-related risks.

Guidance Document

This explains each question in detail and includes what information to provide, the required format, and where to find tools or further information to construct your answer.

Responder pack

This includes the questionnaire, drafting word document, main guidance, and ORS guidance

  • Download the Water Responder Pack (forthcoming February 2016)

Guidance Webinars

The guidance webinars provide an introduction to the water program, the business case for disclosing to CDP's water program and an overview of the 2015 questionnaire.

Special focus webinars

Recorded webinars

2015 Water microsite


Take a deep dive into the current state of play in corporate water management and learn from examples of best practice

View microsite »

CDP's sector focus

Discover how CDP seeks to increase and tailor disclosure from companies in high impact sectors to gather insight into their environmental performance.
Read more »


Guidance on responding

Water Reporting Guidance 2016
This explains each question in detail and includes what information to provide, the required format, and where to find tools or further information to construct your answer.

Changes to Water for 2016
An outline of major changes in the water questionnaire.

Water Drafting Document (zip)
This document is solely for the purpose of drafting a response to the CDP 2016 water questionnaire. Your final response to CDP must be entered via the CDP Online Response System (ORS).

Water Reporting Roadmap
A guide to help responders to move from a basic response towards complete disclosure.

Forthcoming February 2016:

Using the Online Response System (ORS)
How to activate, log in, and use the ORS, including common problems and solutions.
Watch a recorded webinar on using the ORS

Guidance for First Time Responders
A document to help new responders submit information to CDP.

CDP Water Guidance 2015 (for reference only)

Further sources of help

CDP reporter services
CDP service partners​
Contact us at respond@cdp.net.​

Scoring information (to be updated February 2016)

CDP aims to score all water responses received by 30 June from publicly listed companies in 2015. We are currently in negotiations to secure a water scoring partner. Companies should therefore utilize the CDP water scoring methodology when formulating their response. We will share more information with each company at the end of February and confirm those companies that will and won’t be scored at the end of March.

With regards to publishing water results this year, CDP’s proposals are as follows:

  1. Individual company water scores, from both public and private respondents, will be shared with investors via CDP’s password protected investor portal.
  2. Individual companies will receive their score as well as the ability to benchmark themselves against their peers in an anonymized fashion via score feedback charts.
  3. CDP will not release a full Water Index in 2015. Instead, we will focus communications on those companies that have achieved Leadership status. This approach will allow CDP to continue to create a positive race to the top, whilst avoiding alienating those companies that are at the beginning of their water stewardship journey.

The water scoring methodology is also available as an excel workbook (zip).

Water scoring categories
This document provides a score breakdown across different areas of the water questionnaire.

Alignment with other reporting initiatives

CEO Water Mandate
The CEO Water Mandate Disclosure Guidelines aim to support and inform existing and emerging work in the field of corporate sustainability, in addition to supporting companies’ water-related disclosure. We work closely with the CEO Water Mandate as strategic project partners, offering insight regarding water disclosure practice and where appropriate, we seek to align future iterations of our Water Information Request with the Guidelines.

Standards for water reporting are not as consistently established as those for carbon and so we work closely with the CEO Water Mandate, the World Resources Institute (WRI), WWF, WBCSD, GRI and similar organizations to support the development of effective standards and help accelerate movement towards a standard which companies are comfortable reporting against and through which investors can gain meaningful information.

Linking up GRI and CDP
A document jointly produced by CDP and GRI to show the linkages between CDP's 2015 water questionnaire and GRI’s G4 guidelines to assist companies with their response.

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