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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Valuing Water

Hi Friends, here are some excerpts from a paper on Water Conservation from Knowldege Wharton.

Follow the link to read the complete paper:

How Can Businesses Manage the Coming Scarcity?

Water is a paradoxical commodity: It seems free and plentiful, yet its supply is under tremendous strain. Use of fresh water has more than doubled over the past 50 years, and many fear that we are coming close to a frightening breaking point, a world where chronic water shortages for farmers, businesses and people is the norm. Some experts even see international conflict emerging over access to dwindling supplies. Recognizing these concerns, companies are undertaking major programs to realign their water use with core business and humanitarian interests. But while objectives like being “water neutral” and using “foot printing” — tracking the use of water throughout the supply chain — are ambitious, what is being done to achieve them? Are these goals realistic, and will they have enough impact?

In a Water-stressed World, Corporations Conserve

Global water requirements will outstrip supply in the years ahead. According to one report, a third of the world’s population will live where the deficit is greater than 50% just 20 years from now. Multinational corporations are taking notice of the compelling business and humanitarian reasons for having a proactive approach to water issues.

Water Neutrality: A Controversial Concept That Can Spark Innovation

With water use a potential deal breaker to doing business in certain regions, water intensive corporations are increasingly working to achieve “water neutrality” — the offsetting of water use through conservation, recycling, replenishment and community projects. Although criticized by some, such efforts are helping companies identify and reduce water use while educating the public about water scarcity.

Thirsty Power: Confronting the Energy-water Nexus 10

Water is a great hidden cost in energy generation. The reality of water-dependent energy means that any holistic impact analysis must take water consumption into account — and include impacts on water quality. Looking at water and energy together may in some cases solve two problems at once, experts say.

 Water Foot printing: Getting Serious about Water Risks to Business 15

Companies face substantial business risks related to water and investors require them to be forthcoming. For companies concerned about these risks, water foot printing measuring fresh water used to produce a product over a full supply chain — is a logical next step. But foot printing can’t be undertaken simply to bolster a corporate image: How well companies succeed in managing water use will be the true measure of foot printing’s import
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