Like other natural resources, water should be used responsibly and sustainably. Decreasing supply and increasing demand have stressed global water supplies, making it all the more important for businesses and manufacturers to develop water sustainability programs.
Though 75 percent of our planet’s surface is covered in water, only one percent of the Earth’s water is available for human use. The overwhelming majority of this water is used in the agricultural segment, much of which is used in crop irrigation. However, in high income countries, like the United States, water usage is distributed differently with the majority used in industry, making water sustainability all the more important.
Water withdrawal rates have tripled over the last 50 years, a trend that is expected to continue, doubling by 2050. While water is a renewable resource, with the expected rate of groundwater withdrawal over the next few decades, we run the risk of removing more water from our aquifers than can be replenished by nature.
Demand for Water
Demands and competition for water are expected to increase even more as the global climate changes, putting more pressure on water supplies. This increased demand for water may result in higher costs, which could, in turn, increase the price of raw materials and crops needed to manufacture consumer goods such as beverages. New regulations putting caps on industrial water withdrawals and are also anticipated, further increasing the competition for water supplies.
Water sustainability programs help companies address supply and demand issues by using water more efficiently, reducing the amount of water needed to manufacture their products.
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