Have you seen the headlines about the severe drought the western half of the US is having?
Don’t assume these water shortages won’t impact your business. Do you realize it’s not only the west, but populations all across the country who are being impacted by the water supply?
Several cities, including some you wouldn’t expect such as Cleveland, Atlanta, and Washington D.C. are predicted to experience severe water shortages in the not too distant future according to studies from Columbia University Water Center and NOAA's Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES).
It’s not just agriculture and the fishing and gaming industry that’s being impacted. According to an article by Bettina Boxall in the LA Times (1/31/2014), “for the first time ever, the State Water Project that helps supply a majority of Californians may be unable to make any deliveries except to maintain public health and safety.”
The shortages are getting dangerous. And they’re not solely created by drought. Population expansion and demand increase is the major culprit.
Yet, no one seems to be discussing the impact water shortages could have on manufacturing.
An Ernst & Young corporate sustainability study recently found that 76% of corporate representatives think water is the top resource at risk.
Will prices go up? Will you have to ration usage? Monitoring usage and reducing consumption could soon become a competitive advantage – or even a “right to do business”. But, if a main ingredient of your product is water, there’s nothing you can do to reduce consumption, right?
You don’t know until you start monitoring your consumption. Reviewing consumption and cost in a monthly statement from the water department won’t give you the real-time data you need to monitor, measure and manage consumption. And, that monthly statement certainly won’t help you figure out where you’re using the most water.
How do you prepare for impending legislation and regulations that are sure to result? At a minimum your company will likely have the obligation to report and demonstrate that you have utilized water in a responsible manner. That starts with understanding how and where you use water in your business. Do you know how much water your company consumes?
If you monitor water usage by plant, by area, by line, even by product, then you can really know how your company is using water. And, when you measure, you can manage. And, when you manage, you can improve.
Now is the time to incorporate water management into your Sustainability Program.
Entegreat’s new eMagazine (eZine), Turning Water Consumption Management into a Competitive Advantage reviews how real the threat of water scarcity is. It also explores how water consumption can not only be reduced, but how monitoring can be used to increase bottom-line business results. We also provide a few tips for where to look to reduce your water consumption and what you can do now to reduce your risk.
Photo Credit: PhotoAlto Photography