This is the view of SRK Consulting principal consultant Fiona Sutton, who has urged businesses to take a more proactive approach to achieving water sustainability in their operations and supply chains. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Unido) has forecast that global fresh water demand will be 6,900 km per year by 2030 – some 40% over the global sustainable fresh water supply of 4,200 km per year- if current water practices continue.
She highlighted the importance of raising awareness about what water stewardship really involves: using water in a way that is socially and culturally equitable, environmentally sustainable, and economically beneficial. This can best be achieved through a stakeholder-inclusive process that includes both site-based and catchment-based actions, she argued.
“With growing populations and economies, changing lifestyles and global climate change, there is increased pressure on our water resources,” she said. “The private sector, government and other players urgently need to play their part and collaborate to ensure shared water security.”