Growing water scarcity threatens industries around the world

Water is crucial for almost all industries (electric power, high-tech, apparel, metallurgy, …) and for agriculture. On a global scale, 20% of water resources are used by industries, 70% by agriculture and 10% for drinking water supply.

However few businesses and investors are paying attention to the threats due to decreasing water availability and declining water quality according to the report published last Thursday (February 26) by two American organisations the Pacific Institute (www.pacinst.org) and the Ceres (www.ceres.org). The authors warn industries and investors about three main risks related to water issues:
- The decline of water supply could compromise production
- Declining water availability can exacerbate tensions between firms and local communities, in particular in developing countries.
- Growing water demand, decreasing water availability, declining water quality will lead governments and regional authorities to develop more stringent regulations on water uses and prices.

The report identifies water-related risks specific to eight key industries including Electric power, agriculture, pharmaceutical and metals mining. The report also lists guidelines to evaluate water risks like measuring the company's water footprint, and effectively address it by integrating water issues into strategic business planning.
 

See the report on www.pacinst.org