26 January 2012
By 2030, global freshwater withdrawals will have exceeded the current capacity to supply by over 40%, and close to 4 billion people will live in areas of high water stress. Economic growth, business continuity, food and energy security and drinking water supplies are all under current and increasing threat.
The economic and political challenges that the water gap presents are very real. And so is the ‘nexus' - the point at which water security, energy security and food security overlap. A growing global population requires more food, and water is needed to produce that food, and energy is needed to pump the water to irrigate fields, and water is needed to produce energy to power the pumps, and access to clean water is a basic human requirement ... they are all interconnected and it is abundantly clear that the scarcity of each resource simply cannot be considered in isolation.
This week, SABMiller is once again attending the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos and this resource challenge was addressed in a key session this morning with the launch of the Water Resources Group.
This public-private collaboration includes SABMiller and other organisations such as the International Finance Corporation, Coca-Cola and Nestle. The aim of the Water Resources Group is to help governments, companies and communities work together to manage the nexus.
The private sector has a powerful and useful value-chain approach to solving problems which can be harnessed to solve complex problems such as the nexus.
You'll be hearing more about the nexus over the coming months - and you can add your thoughts to the debate now, on the Guardian Sustainable Business website.