Food & Water
What's at stake
The world's growing population is straining our limited freshwater supplies. Here in the U.S., the Colorado River reservoirs are only half full; the Southeastern states face serious water supply problems, and Lake Superior's level has dropped 2.5 feet. Costly water conflicts are being litigated between water users and even between states. The overuse of water in some systems has put fish and wildlife in peril, resulting in litigation and policy gridlock.
Climate change further complicates the water picture. The global warming we have already set in motion is likely to shift precipitation patterns. And the demand for water in some sectors, such as irrigated agriculture, could grow as temperatures warm.
What companies can do
In order to respond to these changes, water use efficiency must be significantly improved across the board, from individuals to agriculture to business.
- Measure your water footprint [PDF]. It's the first step to understanding and improving your water usage.
- Improve water use efficiency by decreasing water use in products and manufacturing.
- Improve the quality of available water sources by investing in water-related environmental services.
- Work with regional governments to improve water management systems.
Resources to help
- Develop your corporate water strategy at GEMI.org/WaterPlanner.
- Enhance your analysis of corporate water risk Ceres' Aqua Gauge.
- Explore a library of water resource management publications at Alliance for Water Efficiency.