The Economic Impact of Water Scarcity

Day after day we hear about how the world is on the verge of an all-out water crisis. We worry about how our faucets will no longer have water streaming through them and how our lawns will turn to dirt.  The problem is really much larger and much scarier than that.  The reality is that our economies and future wealth are based on access to inexpensive and unlimited water supplies. Industrial water consumption makes up 22% of global water use (UNWATER 2012). Over the past decade, an increasing number of companies realize that water scarcity poses a significant risk to their business success in the future and have started to plan on how to mitigate their risks through strategic water management practices.

Companies are recognizing that the cost of water has risen significantly over the past decade and will continue to do so, as droughts continue to burden regions across the globe. As water prices increasingly reflect the true cost of water, companies will be forced to spend more thereby either raising the prices on goods or make less on margins. Many organizations are turning to onsite water reuse and reclamation as an option for cost savings to build a sustainable economic future for their companies.  When looking at water reuse as an option, many organizations are finding that water reuse is a twofold solution for their wastewater. First, onsite wastewater reuse can prevent costs and fines associated with regulatory violations and second the reuse can curb stakeholder criticism due to companies contributing to water pollution problems.

The control of an organizations available water resources is out of their hands. Inevitably , a company’s available water supply is dependent on local availability. IF the water supply is not managed correctly by the utility it can be devastating to the businesses success.  As water becomes more scares, companies will have a harder time accessing resources.

One way of cutting water consumption in industry is through the reuse of wastewater. While this notion of recycling wastewater once had a bad rap, advanced technologies are allowing for safer and more efficient ways of reusing wastewater streams. By reducing the amount of water use by industries, this can lower water withdrawals from local water sources thereby assuring more water availability for the residential communities. This can have a profound impact on community relationships. Wastewater reuse can also have huge environmental implications. By lowering the volume of discharge and pollutants into the environment this can alleviate the environmental impact of discharge.  

Wastewater reuse in industry can take place within a business or between businesses and has the potential to reduce costs for businesses both on water bills as well as the cost of wastewater treatment. Depending on the contaminants present in wastewater and its future reuse, it can either be directly reused, or treated and reused (recycled).

Advanced Technologies are becoming more readily available for industrial applications in water reuse. If you are ready to learn more about the future of wastewater recycling contact us today.