How To & FAQs

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General FAQsback

Why should I use the Water Risk Filter?

It's too easy not to do. The Water Risk Filter provides a structured framework, designed for non-water experts, to EXPLORE the topic of water risk, including geographically, and possible responses on a general level. The ASSESS section provides the water risk assessment tool that covers all relevant elements of water risk, all industries (standard classifications) and all countries of the world. It interprets the best available scientific data for you and translates it into risk numbers based on the questionnaire. Then, you can map your assessed facilities or investments on numerous water related map overlays or visualise the results on site or portfolio level. In the VALUE section, the Valuation Approach Finder will help you identify the most relevant valuation methods and tools meanwhile the Value Potentially Affected Tool will draw from your Water Risk Assessment results, in combination with CDP Water data, to help understand how water risk events can affect financial statements. Finally, in the RESPOND section, a structured set of assessment dependent response recommendations will guide you to take appropriate actions for mitigating risk and developing a water stewardship strategy.

Is the Water Risk Filter free to use?

The Water Risk Filter is a free online tool. If you require additional help conducting assessments and interpreting results more holistically then please contact the Water Risk Fiter team,, as we can offer a range of services to address your needs. For example, our expert team can produce annual or detailed bespoke risk assessment and response recommendation reports and guidance documents. We are happy to discuss how we can tailor our services in relation to your particular needs and interest.

Does the Water Risk Filter assess business risks for the user or risks for the ecosystem?

The risk indicators cover all elements of water related risks that can have a financial impact on the user. By helping companies better understand water risks and providing them with guidance for action will ultimately help improve freshwater ecosystems.

When should I use the Water Risk Filter?

For a company, the Water Risk Filter can be used to assess water related risks for your own operations, suppliers or growth plans. Regular re-assessments (annually) can show positive or negative trends. Also, it can be used to make strategic (long term) choices on your supply chain. The results of the risk assessment and the provided possible response recommendations will provide you with guidance on where to focus on, including actions and programmes that can be initiated with suppliers, or other companies. For an investor or creditor, a risk assessment can help identify potentially significant risks for your client and therefore your return on investment. This can be done at both the due diligence phase as well as once the client company is part of the portfolio. This information can lead to technical advice to clients on how to better manage waster risk as well as pre-conditions for loans and investments and improvements for less risky investments.

When should I use the rapid or detailed assessment functionality within the tool?

This depends on your needs and data availability. Based on experience with users over the last seven years, we decided to provide the rapid assessment to use more easily available information within a company to provide an improved risk assessment for both the operational risk assessment side as well as the respond recommendation (based on the risk assessment). If more data is available, or becomes available over time, the rapid assessment can be changed to the full detailed assessment. Data from the rapid assessment is used to fill the first answers and the user can provide additional details to refine both the risk assessment itself as well as the depth of the response recommendations.

Is this another separate water tool?

The Water Risk Filter combines the functionality of some of the existing tools into one tool and provides input for other tools. For example, output of the Water Risk Filter can be used for CDP water disclosure. Furthermore, the Respond section combine toolkits, frameworks and indicators of various organizations such as the CEO Water Mandate Water Stewardship Toolkit, CDP Water Security, Alliance for Water Stewardship Standard, SDGs, etc.

Will it take much of my time to assess water risk?

No, but it depends on how detailed your assessment should be and if relevant information is at hand. In a couple of seconds, you only need to provide three parameters (facility name, industry and location) for a single location or all your locations of interest to carry out the first part of the water risk assessment - the basin assessment. To make the assessment operations specific, a questionnaire (both rapid and full versions are available) needs to be filled in, which you can send in a secured way to facility managers if necessary.

Has the Water Risk Filter been tested?

Yes, thoroughly. It has been reviewed a number of times during the 20-month development process prior to the first launch in 2012, by peer reviews of water experts, by risk management experts from financial institutions and consultancies, and the early Excel model and online tool have been tested with more than 10 financial institutions and businesses. Between 2012 and now more than 3000 users have used the tool and provided feedback. Due to feedback and new data available, the tool has been relaunched with new and advanced functionalities and an updated risk framework. The tool is continuously used and we receive regular feedback, enabling us to ensure regular improvements and updates.

Are the risk methodology and the used underlying data sources sound?

Yes. The risk methodology has been tested by risk management experts from financial institutions and consultancies. It is based on a multiple-choice system with simple 1-5 scorings and tailored weightings. The underlying data is the best available global or local data source for each single risk indicator. For more information on the data sources used for the global dataset and the local high resolution dataset, please check the Data & Methods section.

Is my data secure? Is WWF or DEG able to use my data?

We take data security very serious as this is vital for the users of the Risk Filter. WWF will administer the Water Risk Filter. Once your data is input, only you can view the results and outputs. DEG will only be able to see data related to their own inputs and clients. WWF will be able to monitor the use of the tool and the results of assessments, but not able to use this or any company input data unless specifically agreed by that company.

Is long term maintenance of the Water Risk Filter secured?

Yes, WWF ensures to work with its global Network to maintain and host the tools infrastructure and water risk related data. In addition, various WWF National Organizations such as UK, South Africa, Brazil, Colombia, Spain, Hungary and the greater Mekong region have been investing in collecting, preparing and embedding water risk data with higher resolution of their respective countries and regions into the Water Risk Filter.

How can we contribute to support the tool and secure long-term maintenance?

We are interested to hear your feedback on the tool's indicators, risk methodology and other content to improve the tool over time and keep it as the go-to water risk assessment tool. We are open to discuss industry and company contributions to improve particular sections of the tool or to support long-term water risk data and Water Risk Filter infrastructure maintenance.

Can WWF help me with assessing my water risks, valuing and mitigating these risks?

Yes, the WWF Water Risk Filter Team can provide a range of different services (i.e. annual or bespoke risk assessment reports) and tailored guidance to support you with conducting and interpreting results from your risk assessment as well as valuing and mitigating your risks. If you are interested in our services, please contact us via email,, or via the feedback form at the bottom of this webpage.

How can I contact the WRF team?

You can contact us via email,, or through the feedback form at the lower end of the webpage. For regular updates, follow us on Twitter @WWFWaterRisk and on LinkedIn:


Tool Access - back


What should I do if I get an error message when using or registering to the Water Risk Filter?

If you get an error message when using the Water Risk Filter, please try the steps below to fix the issue:

1) Check that your browser works with the Water Risk Filter

The Water Risk Filter is designed to work on the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari. You may want to make sure your browser is up to date.

2) Check that cookies and JavaScript are enabled in your browser

Cookies and JavaScript will need to be enabled to log in and use certain features of the application.

3) Check your browser extension or applications

While browser add-ons and extensions can serve as great tools for your browsing experience, some might prevent you from using the Water Risk Filter properly. If you are having issues with registering, logging in, or with general display or performance, you can try temporarily turning off these add-ons and extensions one by one, and then using the Water Risk Filter again to see if that solves the problem.

4) Clear your browser's cache & cookies

Try clearing your browser's cache and cookies, then opening the Water Risk Filter again to see if this solves the problem. This process will ensure that you are using an up-to-date version of the Water Risk Filter as well.

If none the steps above helped to address your problem, please report your issue to 

What to do if the tool's interface is not correctly displayed on my computer screen

Try to use the browser zoom to adjust for all screen elements to be visible on the screen. In most browsers you can use the Ctrl button plus the mouse scroll wheel to adjust the zoom and therefore the visibility of all page content and buttons.

Which browser is the best to use the Water Risk Filter?

The Water Risk Filter should work well with the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari. We would appreciate if you could report any issues to

I cannot access all functions of the Water Risk Filter. How do I get access?

For some functionalities you need to create an user account to be able to access them. Please see the registration guide for further information or contact the team via if you are interested in a subscription.

I cannot see all facilities that I have previously uploaded into my portfolio

Go into the admin panel by clicking on your user name in the top right corner. Then go to the facility tab. Ensure that the facility filter is set to include all the facilities

I want to let colleagues or others manage parts of my portfolio but do not want them to see the whole portfolio and or certain results.

Go into the admin panel by clicking on your user name in the top right corner. Follow the options on the screen to add new users, assign there specific reading and writing rights per section. Then go to the facilities tab, select the new user and use the facility filter to assign relevant facilities.

I cannot see all menu items/access functionality when I login in with my user credential?

It means that the user profile that you are using has been provided to you by a main account holder. Please contact your main account holder to receive additional access to the tool.

I have taken over the position of a colleague who has used the Water Risk Filter. Can I be assigned to be the main user of the tool to continue the work?

Yes, this is possible. Please contact the Water Risk Filter team to review the case to ensure sensitive user data is not being breeched.

I forgot all my user credential (login name, associated email address and password). How can I get hold of them?

Please contact the Water Risk Filter team via the webform or per email via We can look into the user data base and identify the relevant information. We will also ensure that the information request is legitimate.




Are the options to tailor operational questionnaires to an particular industry?

Yes, this is possible. Please contact us to further discuss the industry you are interested in and how you think necessary changes should look like based on the baseline questionnaires already provided in the tool.

Can I tailor and improve site level risk assessments?

Yes, since underlying data is based on global and national data sets we allow the user to refine the risk assessment by manually changing the risk level for each indicator. Further the weightings for each assessment can be tailored as well to reflect on the own view point of risk.

Do I have to re-enter data every time I use the tool?

No, the WRF is based on a user account system. You can conduct risk assessment and data gathering at your own pace and return to your assessed portfolio when you receive additional data, or want to do edits etc.

How can I improve the quality of location descriptions for my upload and find the correct location for the assessment?

The best input for a location is the exact coordinate or (if doing single facilities) moving the pointer on the correct location on the map while using a detailed zoom-level. If providing addresses, you should sample your data and test these in the tool to ensure they lead to the correct location. We have experienced many issues with location descriptions, especially with complex formatted and "untreated" addresses. The process of location data "cleaning" is often the most time-consuming part prior to the risk assessment.

My portfolio has many, even hundreds or thousands of locations. How can I efficiently assess them with the Water Risk Filter?

The tool offers bulk upload functionality for both locations (i.e. basin risk assessment) themselves as well as for operational risk assessment (i.e. questionnaires). Once relevant data has been gathered and prepared for upload into the tool you can add and edit your risk information across your whole portfolio. Further we have built-in functionalities to copy questionnaire answers across a user defined selection of locations to reduce input time requirements to focus on interpretation of the results.

The indication of risk at a location seems wrong for some or many indicators, based on local knowledge. How accurate is the Water Risk Filter?

The Water Risk Filter uses the best data sets available with global coverage. That means often they are on country level, aggregated to basin level or represent data for areas such as e.g. 50 by 50 km. The tool intends to provide a starting point and allows to refine individual scores as well as the weighting of individual scores for users to refine their assessment with such local knowledge where available.

The overall indication of risk seems to be wrong despite many indicators coming up with high risk. Why is this the case?

The tool's risk aggregation calculation is based on a weighted-average system for multiple categories. Inspecting the weights for the assessment of concern will provide some more clarity in relation to this observation. Weights differ from industry to industry and the overall risk score can therefore differ in the same location for two assessments of different industries. I you do not agree with applied weightings you can edit them to represent your understanding of risk.

What can I do to make the map occupy a larger part of my screen?

If you want to make the map to occupy to cover a larger portion of your screen, zoom out with your browser, then refresh the page. Check your browser settings to do so.

Why should I provide data on production or value for my assessment locations?

If you provide data on production or value by site, you can summarize production/value at risk which can aid your prioritization throughout decision making. If you are concerned about the security of your business data, please read more about the topic in our privacy policy.

Wrong locations or no locations are showing up in my facility portfolio after bulk uploading data. What happened?

If the location description is not conform to the used system (i.e.ESRI) requirements certain addresses or location descriptions are not valid and therefore cannot be translated into a location on the map (i.e. coordinate). This process is called geo-coding. To solve this issue the location descriptions have to be improved (i.e. simplified or similar addresses) or better being replaced directly with coordinates.