Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Why Businesses Should Care About Water Issues

Whether or not a business is in an industry that works and or serves the water industry, each and every business in the world is affected by water. Buildings companies own or lease are charged for their water use. It is used in heating, it is used in industrial processes (to produce and average automobile, something like 10,000 gallons of water is used). Imagine what the struggling domestic auto manufacturers would think of higher water prices? To their credit, there have been some major strides made in resource productivity with regards to water use in many industries.

What about the effects of water scarcity on food supplies and human health? Can you imagine the pressures on the labor force in developed, "first world" nations that would appear should we have serious water shortages? The millions of blue-collar laborers' working away right now would be less productive and less inclined to work if they are worried about how they will pay their water bill and get water for their families.

I am making some fairly general statements about what might happen, and clearly there are more compelling and well researched academic articles that will make a clearer case for why companies should care about water. In the long run, companies should care because it will have a detrimental affect on their business operations. It will increase costs, reduce access to labor, reduce their customers' buying power, increase regulatory and stakeholder pressure, and in the end reduce profitability. What corporation shouldn't worry about water?

1 comment:

Joni Taylor said...

How does one sign up to be part of the solution? That's the question!