Water shortage urgency
Water shortages are more urgent than climate change, according to Nestlé Chairman Peter Brabeck, who has been leading the debate about water access and pricing for a number of years.
I’ve finally read a two page feature in the Financial Times on 15th July that contains many worthwhile findings and comments:
• Global water use has more than doubled since 1960, from 1,968 km3 then to 4,431 km3 in 2010.
• Industry has committed $84 billion in the past 3 years to improve water management and conservation.
• Water supply has become one of the top three concerns for business and other leaders in the World Economic Forum’s annual global risk survey.
• Coca-Cola is the 24th biggest industrial consumer of water and Nestlé 49th. Power generator China Guodian is the largest.
• Water is needed for energy production to such an extent that fracking “typically requires about 2 million gallons of water or more at each well.”
• The 2030 Water Resources Group, which includes Coca-Cola, Nestlé and the World Bank, calculates that freshwater demand will outstrip supply by 40 per cent in 2030 unless more is done.
• “Solutions … are known and do not need to be that expensive … Plugging leaks at an existing water supply system, for example, can address water scarcity 50 to 100 times more cost effectively than building an expensive water treatment plant.”