August 2020

Has it happened to you that you start investigating the water situation of a catchment and very quickly you realize that there are so many reports, maps, websites, data, official documents, news, that you just do not have the time to follow everything and moreover, you do not have the expert overview that will help you extract and use all this info for strategic sustainability planning? Or perhaps, as part of the sustainability team, you understand your catchment water situation, but do not count on an efficient way or tool to communicate key catchment messages inside your organization, or your value chain?


For years we at GSI have been supporting agricultural partners to become more water resilient and to better understand the catchment situation, using our expert skills to find the adequate data and information and to extract findings in order to strategise with our partners. We now feel the need to be more vocal about it and explain to our readers and customers what this special service means, and the tools we use for it.


The Water Intelligence service refers to a strategic geographic snapshot and summary of the water situation in the catchment(s) and provides a matrix of opportunities in relation to the commodity of interest. We generate the intelligence following the WaterData4Action framework and its supporting software tools and code that enable us to efficiently collect, structure, interpret publicly available global and local data and information.


One of the tools we use for the Water Intelligence service is the Catchment Passport. This is a tool that helps agricultural value chains and companies who need actionable and strategic catchment information with the purpose of planning water stewardship actions in an efficient way. It provides and organizes data and information into a pointy document of immediate use for the company. It does so by specifying a sharp and expert compilation of findings oriented towards cost-effective and realistic action from the view point of a specific commodity, that will aim at increasing the water resilience of the catchment and the water resilience of that agricultural value chain.


We have applied Water Intelligence and developed catchment passports for several catchments and commodities around the world. We have proven that this service and tool are effective for strategizing around water, by contributing with transparency and with clarity on the water situation of a catchment, in an efficient and action-oriented way. Our partners have used the Catchment Passport to initiate conversations with the procurement department or with value chain partners. Passports can be updated periodically (every 5 years for example), they can be validated by local stakeholders; they are living documents that capture a snapshot of the most crucial elements of the catchment, just as a real passport does. The idea behind is that a “valid” passport can be used with transparency for (agricultural) “transactions”, and can be “shown” to anyone. With this, we at GSI aim at providing the information that will support food production in healthy and resilient catchments with happier people.