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Is water the next carbon?

Is water the next carbon?

While many firms are studying their carbon footprint to assess their energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, another resource issue is looming: water.

From rising supply costs to water scarcity, organizations of all shapes and sizes are wise to assess their water risks early. What is your water footprint? What is the vulnerability of your water supply? These are the types of questions that organizations need to start asking themselves.

When evaluating water risks, four main areas should be considered: physical (lack of access to water); political (water rights etc.); regulatory (taxes etc.) and reputation (especially in communities).

Certain industries have a particular thirst for water, including utilities, pulp and paper, food and beverages, semiconductor manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, and major manufacturing. But the reality is that any business could potentially be affected by water issues.


There are substitutes for energy, but there is no substitute for water.

- Dr. Hank Venema, Director of sustainable natural resources management at the non-profit,
International Institute for Sustainable Development

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