Water scarcity


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Growing sustainability issues such as deforestation, soil erosion, biodiversity loss, fresh-water scarcity and the build-up of carbon emissions are all increasing stress on natural resources, according to  Global Footprint Network

Earth Overshoot Day: Humanity has exhausted all of 2017's natural resources

Humanity has already used up its entire annual budget of planetary resources such as water, soil and clean air on the earliest day of the year since the Earth first went into "overshoot" in the early 1970s, according to research organisation Global Footprint Network.

MillerCoors is delivering a

Brewing for the future: How MillerCoors slashed its water footprint through supplier engagement

A supply chain management philosophy built on engagement over enforcement enabled brewer MillerCoors to reduce its water footprint by 17% last year. Here, Matt Mace investigates how the firm has been galvanising the farmer community to create resilient, future-proofed beer supply chains.

The H&M Foundation has so far donated more than £5.3m to WaterAid, and will match that donation as part of the second-phase

H&M Foundation donates £5m in second stage of WaterAid partnership

The H&M Foundation is launching the second stage of its partnership with WaterAid to deliver safe water and sanitation to four of the world's poorest communities.

The five-year project will see SEAT provide CNG vehicles to test the new fuels over a total test run distance of 120,000km

Breakthroughs for biofuel in aviation and transport sectors

Car manufacturer SEAT has provided insight into its innovative project that turns wastewater into a biomethane fuel capable of reducing CO2 emissions by 80% compared to traditional vehicles, while NASA has released data on the viability on using biofuels in jet engines.

Global fresh water demand is expected to grow by 2% each year over the coming decades

Circular economy could save 11% of annual global water demand, research finds

The adaptation of circular economy methods in water-stressed regions could save 412 billion cubic metres of water each year, the equivalent to 11% of annual global water demand, according to new research from multinational banking group ING.

The CDP report found that 24% of carbon reduction activities planned by businesses are highly-water dependent

Businesses urged to 'wake up' over £11bn water risks

Businesses have been issued a "wake-up call" by a new CDP report which revealed that water risks fuelled by climate change cost the private sector $14bn (£11.3bn) over the last year.

COP22 also dedicated time to prioritising climate justice. Coupling up with the water agenda, the topic of climate justice led to the introduction of the “Water for Africa” initiative

COP22: Water and climate justice share the spotlight with Trump

Wednesday was water day at COP22 in Marrakesh, and while the mood in Morocco was one of "sink or swim" in regards to an unprecedented US election, business took to the stage to call on governments to introduce a "speedy implementation" of the Paris Agreement.

Beyond creating a 'nice story' as part of a company’s CSR commitments, what is the business case for not just investigating water security, but actually improving it?

Liquid assets: Strengthening the business case for water management

With global water supplies running dry at an alarming rate, edie's Matt Mace hears from some of the private sector's leading lights on tackling water scarcity to uncover the business case that lies beneath the surface.

President of Hungary Janos Ader called on businesses to prevent a looming water crisis Photo courtesy of Financial Times Live

Businesses urged to view water as economic risk rather than environmental issue

Efforts to combat water scarcity are "absent from the portfolios" of investors, and it is now the responsibility of the private sector to step up water efficiency practices to build understanding that water is an economic risk as well as an environmental one.

An effective response to the significant and growing risk of drought in England and Wales is possible if concerted action is taken now, Water UK says

UK businesses face increasing risk of drought, warns water sector

Companies are being called upon to ramp up water efficiency measures, share best practices and water consumption and open up new communication streams surrounding water conservation after a new report commissioned by water companies revealed the growing risk of drought facing the UK.

The report notes that the rise in extreme weather scenarios will impact energy security unless smarter systems are introduced

Smarter energy systems crucial to combatting diverse new climate risks

An overhaul of financing mechanisms and policy framework is necessary to develop "smarter, not just stronger" energy markets, which will need to combat "unprecedented strains" arising from new climate commitments, a new report from the World Energy Council (WEC) has found.

edie has brought together the best water sustainability innovations into one neat and tidy blue bubble

World Water Week: Six innovations to quench the global thirst for clean water

With World Water Week bringing experts and innovators to Stockholm to foster new thinking and develop solutions to water-related issues, edie rounds-up the projects and products that could aid efforts to combat water scarcity.

The UK must prepare for the oncoming storm of climate change by introducing measures to mitigate flooding, heatwaves and water scarcity among other lesser known risks

UK must prepare for 'inevitable changes' of climate risks, warns advisers

The UK must work to implement immediate action to mitigate the "urgent" effects of climate change which looks set stifle food production, reduce water supplies and lead to thousands of deaths as temperatures rise, a new report from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has warned.

With the majority of aquifers lying across national borders, companies have to deal with water scarcity issues without governance

Businesses urged to combat water scarcity and become 'stewards of limited resources'

Businesses have been warned that in order to thrive in a low-carbon future they must first "navigate a mosaic of global realities", that has seen water scarcity hit a variety of regions and threaten to destabilise infrastructure, extractives and agriculture.

Coachella Valley in California - an area grappling with shrinking water supplies

Humans damaging the environment faster than it can recover, UN finds

Degradation of the world's natural resources by humans is rapidly outpacing the planet's ability to absorb the damage, meaning the rate of deterioration is increasing globally, the most comprehensive environmental study ever undertaken by the UN has found.

There may not be a silver bullet to tackle water use, but that hasn’t stopped a collaborative push to tackle the issue

#WorldWaterDay: Green groups and businesses unite in fresh awareness drive

With today (22 march) marking the UN's World Water Day, edie has rounded up all of the latest company announcements and industry statistics that together highlight how critical the issue of water scarcity has become.

Waterscan's system is the first of its kind to be approved by the Regulation and Supervision Bureau for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Premier Inn slashes water use by 24%

An innovative greywater recycling systems has helped one of Whitbread's newest hotels reduce water use by nearly a quarter in one of the world's highest water consuming countries.

20,000 refugees die prematurely each year as a result of pollution from fuel burning, cooking techniques

Refugee camps' energy bills over $2bn due to neglected energy efficiency

The energy consumption of refugee camps has been neglected by international governments and humanitarian agencies, costing an estimated $2bn annually, according to a consortium of NGOs and think tanks.

Green Halloween: 7 scary sustainability stats

It's the time of year for fancy dress, scary movies, vampires and werewolves. But there are real horrors in the world lurking in the shadows; creeping out of exhaust pipes and rising from the tombs of forgotten costumes and plastic broomsticks.

Water is a forgotten factor of production...the primary challenge is therefore to make the forgotten unforgettable

Collaboration and innovation vital to solve 'forgotten problems' of water scarcity

Both the public and private sectors need to realise there is no 'silver bullet' to deal with the rising yet largely ignored water scarcity crisis, a panel of industry experts has concluded.

The 150-hectare site will recycle rain and surface water to use for flushing toilets, washing clothes watering gardens

University of Cambridge develops UK's largest water recycling system

The University of Cambridge has signed an agreement with Cambridge Water to support the UK's largest water recycling system at the University's North West Cambridge Development site.

Lord Chris Smith (left) will be replaced by Richard Benyon (right) as chairman of the UKWP

Lord Smith replaced by Tory MP as UK Water Partnership chairman

Lord Chris Smith is stepping down as chairman of the newfound UK Water Partnership (UKWP) less than six months after its launch.

Sustainability stats: This week in numbers

As we edge closer to the climate conference in Paris, this week saw a clash of horns over the energy we use. But that hasn't stopped some truly innovative green developments popping up across the globe, from Delhi to... Barnsley.

The new revenue-at-risk function estimates the value of the revenue that a facility could potentially lose due to the impact of water scarcity on operations

New tool enables businesses to monetise water risk

Water technology firm Ecolab has developed a new online tool that allows businesses to work out how water-scarcity will impact their revenue.

Climate change and population growth has led to many countries suffering from water stress

WRI: Extreme water stress in Middle East could stoke civil unrest

Countries from the Middle East will likely be be exposed to 'extreme water stress' by 2040, threatening national security, the World Resources Institute has found.

IHG will work with the Water Footprint Network to develop a water stewardship programme

World Water Week sees hotel giant announce water stewardship programme

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced the appointment of global water-use experts, the Water Footprint Network, to develop a worldwide water stewardship programme for the hotel group.

The letter asks food and beverage companies for increased transparency and disclosure about their exposure to water risk

Global investors urge food firms to address rising water risks

Investors managing more than $2.6trn in assets have sent joint letters to 15 international food and drink companies amid growing concerns over water security and pollution.

Diageo said its water efficiency increased by 10.4%

Diageo saves almost 3 billion litres of water

Diageo has improved its water efficiency by more than 10% in the past year, according to the drinks giant's latest sustainability report.

The course at Chambers Bay does not feature the lush greens characteristic of US golf

'Brown is the new green' at sustainable US Open golf course

The US Open golf championship, which kicked off this week, is being held at a course labelled "the poster child of sustainable golf", but not all players are happy with the new water-reduced playing surface.

The Pope's encyclical was presented at the Vatican earlier today

Pope calls for urgent action on climate change

"The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth," wrote the Pope in a sweeping papal letter which calls for action on phasing out fossil fuels, tackling global water scarcity and adopting a circular economy.

The Aquamark launch was supported by more than 100 blue chip and public sector organisations

New water benchmarking scheme targets 'forgotten utility'

Britain's first national water benchmarking scheme has been launched, allowing businesses to reduce water usage by an average of 30% and regain up to £500m in lost annual revenue.

Resource Efficienct Scotland has so far helped 134 Scottish organisations identify ways to save money by using water more efficiently

Q&A: The importance of water efficiency for businesses

Resource Efficient Scotland recently held a Q&A session with Dr Stuart Ballinger, project director for the Water Technology List, to discuss why and how businesses should reduce their water use.

The International alcohol firm will develop a broader supply chain and adopt new ways of working with new partners

Diageo to slash water use in half

Drinks giant Diageo has vowed to improve its water efficiency by 50%, replenish water in water-stressed areas and return all waste water back to the environment as part of an ambitious new water stewardship strategy.

The problem of water scarcity can only be solved if businesses, governments and NGOs collaborate

Cross-sector collaboration and the global water crisis

Diageo's head of water, environment and agriculture sustainability Michael Alexander explains how and why businesses must collaborate to address the critical issue of water scarcity.

Halting Deforestation and Achieving Sustainability

Now is a critical moment to pause and consider how the current attention to “deforestation-free” sourcing can support the broader goal of protecting Earth’s natural ecosystems while sustaining a growing population and supporting equitable development.

Lord Smith of Finsbury will be the independent chair of the new UK Water Partnership

Lord Smith to lead public-private UK Water Partnership

"There's nothing more important than water," proclaimed the former head of the Environment Agency, Lord Chris Smith, who is chairing a new public-private body to promote resilience, innovation and growth in the UK water sector.

Water costs can be reduced by up to 50% by investing in no- and low- cost water reduction technologies

Top 10 business benefits of reducing water consumption

As Business in the Community (BITC) recently warned, droughts and water scarcity pose a significant risk to the environment, society and the economy. But when it comes to conserving water, small adjustments can have a big impact on businesses...

Increased urbanisation is changing the UK's distribution of water demand and increasing the risk of flooding

Water Taskforce calls on businesses to 'act now' and collaborate

Business in the Community (BITC) has renewed its call for companies to take action on water issues in the UK by improving resilience flooding and water shortages and by collaborating on sustainable water quality management.

Each person consumes between 2,000-5,000 litres of water embedded in their food

Food and drink firms 'must improve efficiency' to protect dwindling water supply

The food and drink industry must curtail the amount of water used in production to avoid two thirds of the world's population living in 'water-scarce' areas by 2050.

Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture is focused on defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel production

Corporate giants set sustainable agriculture goals

Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture has announced that its member companies - including Unilever, General Mills, Kellogg's, Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble - have committed to drive sustainable agriculture in the US with six new environmental pledges.

Partnerships should be made between communities, central and local governments, businesses and non-governmental organisations to tackle water scarcity

Companies urged to 'unite to combat water shortage'

Global beverage firm SABMiller has called for businesses to invest in partnerships to secure water availability and quality and protect both the environment and long-term profitability.

The growing water crisis has prompted 82% of surveyed companies to set conservation targets this year

Water shortage threatens growth for world's biggest firms

More than two thirds of the world's largest corporations say water scarcity could harm their business, with a quarter expecting it to limit growth.

The Water Explorer Programme has received $4.3m funding from HSBC's Water Programme

HSBC and Global Action Plan teach young people about water scarcity

HSBC and environmental charity Global Action Plan have teamed up to launch a new initiative to encourage young people aged between eight and 14 to tackle worldwide water issues.

Water and energy are interdependent in more ways than not, and an increase or decrease in one will immediately affect the other

Energy and Water communities 'must co-operate to meet global challenges'

The organisers of World Water Week have claimed that there is 'an urgent need' for a closer relationship between the energy and water industries in order to tackle issues of global scarcity and poor quality.

Over 100 million farmers in the developing world are responsible for 90% of the world's cotton production

Cotton supply chain urged to help reduce water footprint

More support is needed for smallholder cotton farmers in the developing world as they grapple with the effects of water scarcity which could put the global cotton industry at serious risk.


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