Water scarcity is a material risk to companies; it has the potential to impact operations and supply chains as water shortages increase across the globe -- an issue that is exacerbated by climate change. Producing at a lower capacity, or having to halt operations, are both possible outcomes of drought that can result in harm to companies and investors alike.
Companies must not only be aware of the potential for dramatically reduced, or even increased rainfall, and growing competition for water in chronically water-short and drought-prone areas, but also have plans in place to avoid or minimize related disruptions. While some large companies have developed water planning, including water reduction, recycling, and safe treatment initiatives to diminish these risks and save costs, others have a long way to go to mitigate water risks.
Other water-related risks associated with industry include the potential for polluting water resources, the environment, or neighboring communities. Companies involved with hydraulic fracturing or coal processing, for example, have the potential to considerably contaminate water sources. As You Sow works with such companies to address and improve their water stewardship practices.