Fresh Water Demand and Water Resources
An accurate measure of a company’s water consumption can be difficult to determine. Many companies are not required to disclose their water consumption on their annual report because they do not require that information as part of the annual review conducted for health purposes. Companies need to understand their water usage and what it means to their business and their environment. In doing so, companies can learn from other companies mistakes.
A water footprint reveals the extent of water usage
about total consumption by individuals. The water consumption of an individual, household, or industry is defined as the amount of water consumed to produce the products and/or services consumed by the individual, household, or industry. The measurement of this water consumption is reported every year. One of the most important reasons to obtain and publish a company’s annual report on water consumption is to allow businesses to examine and improve their practices.
Water stress refers to the adverse effects of water
withdrawal and/or excessive consumption of a resource. When there is too much water withdrawn from or used in a specific area it has the potential to deplete the natural water sources in that area. This can have detrimental effects on both water quality and the environment. One of the best ways to reduce water stress is to implement strategies that help to conserve water, especially in the agricultural sector.
There are two types of consumption
freshwater consumption and freshwater availability. Management practices aimed at reducing the demand for fresh water will affect both domestic and global freshwater issues. For example, irrigation can contribute to the reduction in freshwater availability, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. A recent study by Penn State University showed that saline irrigation was the largest contributor to the reduction in freshwater levels in the Midwest. Other practices that contribute to this freshwater depletion include intensive agricultural irrigation, turf spraying for crop growth, intensive groundwater pumping, and diversion of rivers for irrigation. In areas experiencing over-irrigation, water stress leads to excessive salinity that affects fish distributions and aquatic ecosystems.
One way to reduce the consumption of water and reduce
the effect of freshwater withdrawal is to implement strategies that promote water conservation. Providing water conservation incentives to customers and/or reducing water consumption through re-use and re-farming of existing land can both have a direct and indirect impact on reduced freshwater use. Strategies that promote energy efficiency in buildings and transportation can reduce the amount of electricity consumed. Reducing the consumption of electricity through various techniques including carpooling, increased vehicle speeds, and the use of electric power-driven vehicles can have a substantial impact on reducing the amount of water withdrawn through irrigation.
is a challenge across the world affecting both rural and urban populations? One way to decrease consumption is to implement strategies that require businesses and individuals to take responsibility for their water consumption. Taking an active role in reducing household freshwater consumption has the potential to save millions of gallons of fresh water every year. By working together, consumers, businesses, and government can work towards healthy and sustainable development.