New framework encourages businesses to invest in water scarcity projects
Business leaders are being called on to address global water challenges by investing in projects that tackle scarcity and secure the world's most precious resource.
Coinciding with this week's World Water Week, a new report, Managing Water Use in Scarce Environments, introduces a framework to compare and evaluate water scarcity initiatives, which intends to allow business leaders and policy makers to quickly grasp the associated costs and potential impact that can be delivered.
Prepared by Arup for the 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG), the report aims to encourage financial and political support at all levels of society, as well as provide insights into options for tackling water scarcity.
2030 Water Resources Group executive director, Anders Berntell, said: "This report provides a foundation for informed, collaborative decision making between the public and private sector; between government and finance and between local communities and city, regional and national authorities".
The report also recommends giving prioritisation to projects which focus on reducing consumptive use of water; developing mechanisms and incentives which help reduce consumptive use and prioritisation of interventions that deliver the greatest basin level benefit at the lowest unit cost.
According to 2030 WRG's, there will be a 40% gap between supply and demand for freshwater by 2030.
This growing gap between safe freshwater supply and water demand is "forcing the world to tackle the issue from a new and more collaborative perspective", says 2030 WRG.
This includes cooperation between the government to provide appropriate policies and regulations, the private sector to provide innovation and technology, and civil society to provide inputs from the users.
Lead author of the report and Arup associate for Water, Mark Tindale, said: "Water affects every aspect of our lives - from personal health and well-being; through to the food we eat; products we buy; the shape of our towns and cities and economic and international development".
"The challenge in preparing the publication has been establishing a simple mechanism to evaluate and compare the impact of a wide range of initiatives on river basin level water scarcity and communicate this in a manner that enables business leaders and policy makers to bring about meaningful change," added Tindale.