Report Warns Businesses to Heed Water Shortages

A new report warns that businesses should start preparing for severe water shortages, and warning their shareholders of the risk such shortages pose to their operations. The report — from independent California-based think tank Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security — focused on businesses that depend on high-volume water use. That group includes two of Americans’ favorites: makers of cola and microchips. Pepsi and Coca-Cola both had major factories shut down in southwest India this year due to drought-induced water shortages. Among the report’s recommendations are working more closely with local communities, carefully measuring water use, and accounting for water availability at proposed factory sites. Meanwhile, scientists at the World Water Week conference in Stockholm this week warned that an increasing global population and widespread complacency are making wars over water more and more likely; they recommended a doubling of investment in water infrastructure.