Water management may not be high on your list of business priorities, but perhaps it should be. At a time when the cost of utilities has never been higher – and as the climate crisis becomes increasingly evident – taking control of how much water you use, and where your water supply comes from, is paramount.
But with so much pressure on businesses to market, supply and grow, it’s all too easy to let effective water management fall by the wayside. Here are six reasons why water management should be taken seriously in your business.
Water supply is limited
It’s important to bear in mind that, despite the fact that water may seem like an endless resource, our supply is actually quite limited. Only 3% of the world’s water supply is fresh and drinkable, according to Water Aid. Of that 3%, only 1% is accessible – the rest is frozen in ice caps and glaciers, or is too remote for practical use.
Water management is complex
Commercial water supply is a complicated process involving several key factors, which makes effective management even more important. Responsible parties need to be aware of how much water is available, how It needs to be used, and what needs to happen to make it accessible. There are also competing demands, processes and policies to consider. Effective water management can streamline this complicated task.
Water management tackles climate change
There are several key global issues which are putting access to clean, safe water in jeopardy, such as aquifer depletion, water pollution and, of course, climate change. Those businesses choosing to manage their water supply face an uphill battle against these issues, especially when combined with the growing demand for water, but management is necessary in order to retain some level of control over your commercial water.
Water and food production are linked
Water supply is a huge issue, but it’s not a standalone one. Issues with water supply link directly to many other problems facing businesses, individuals and households today, including food production. According to the World Bank, agriculture accounts for 70% of the world’s freshwater use. Biofuel crops also use a significant amount of water, and the more people there are, the more water we’ll need. It comes as no surprise to learn that the World Bank lists both agricultural food production and water management as global issues.
Water scarcity is on the rise
While many of us cannot fathom a reality in which we can’t access clean water, it’s not as farfetched as you may think. The World Bank states that 40% of the world’s population is already impacted by water scarcity, and by 2025, 1.8 billion people will live with limited clean water supply. What’s more, two thirds of the global population will live in water-stressed areas.
The 2019 World Economic Forum listed water scarcity as one of the most serious global risks of the 2020s, with the potential to lead to energy shortages, food shortages and economic disruptions.
Water management benefits everyone
Every community, organisation and institution has a responsibility to exercise proper water management. When water resources are managed well, everyone benefits, from governments to businesses to individuals. Water management leads to more cost effective water and waste supplies, better irrigation controls and less energy waste. It also gives you the peace of mind that the water you’re using is safe and clean.