Pooja GangwalMay 31, 2019
Water is an essential commodity and an indispensable one. For industries with water-dependent processes, water scarcity and supply chain pose a serious risk. The same holds true for the agriculture industry as well.
As the world wakes up to the reality of water shortage, several activists, scientists, and investors are discussing means of mitigating risks associated with depleting resources and contamination. The companies are closely monitoring their water footprint to make more responsible usage. To understand the importance of water, it is very necessary for the one to know about the risks related to its scarcity.
Using water with efficiency is a long-term need for staying in business and for achieving sustainable success. In a world where the demand for water is on the road to exceeding supply, companies are struggling to find water sources. However, unique perspectives and capabilities are expected to play an important role in diagnosing and solving the issue at hand. Both big and small players are focused on ensuring operational efficiencies and reducing water pollution.
To properly manage the water supply, the approach of thinking globally and acting locally would prove to be useful. The context-based water target approach is mainly considered to be more effective in managing water supply. This approach mainly takes into consideration local and global policy objectives, the needs of various stockholders, and scientific understanding of the local water basin's condition.
According to the basin limits, companies can better understand and can adjust their water requirements and operations effectively. For instance, Coca-Cola, the food and beverage giant, has conducted its source vulnerability assessments at each of its manufacturing locations to determine the potential of water availability risks and quality that is related to their operations as well as the surrounding ecosystem. This assessment mainly considers its historic and current water quality, potential risks, and existing factors, which determines the impact of extreme weather conditions that would aggravate water scarcity in the near future.
Businesses across the globe need a collective action to improve water management to tackle the water challenges of the immediate future.
Despite the magnitude of the problem, companies are disclosing to customer data platforms (CDP) water. There are many trends such as setting priorities for internal and external action, incorporating the water into business growth strategy, and investing in data, analyzing it, and disclosing of the data helps the companies to take an action on existing water crisis and committing to reducing the risks. With access to data, companies can easily set up their priorities for the investment in water crisis across value chains. For example, General Mills Water Policy helps to ensure that the continuing strength of the business is to sustain growth while reducing the problem of water stress. As the company is taking these steps through four phase business strategy such as:
● Implementation of water scarcity plan and monitoring the outcomes
● Global assessment of water scarcity to identify priority watersheds
● In-depth analysis of priority watersheds to understand the challenges and the opportunities, including a negative and positive impact of the General Mills operations
● Establishment of a multi-investors science-based water stewardship action plan, which includes consultation with local stockholders from its relevant sectors such as NGOs, agriculture, communities, government, and industries
The company is collaborating with multi-stockholders as a foundation of its success in implementing these strategies.
In addition, for the improvement of water management, the companies are gradually adding water management into their business strategies by developing innovative products and services, which helps to solve the water challenges. For instance, Hindustan Unilever is accelerating product development to meet the need of the consumers across the water-scarce regions.
As the demand for water rises, there are various ways to improve the water management systems and establish efficient water supplies. One of the solutions for water management is artificial recharge or groundwater engineering, which can be done to optimize the total water resource management in the business. Groundwater engineering is a way to store water underground and use it in the times of water shortage to meet the requirement of water.