Without concerted action water scarcity, which is a risk today, could become a crisis tomorrow – and the private sector must take a collaborative approach.
Water stress – that is, when demand for water outstrips supply or when water quality restricts use – is holding back prosperity and growth. Tackling water stress can release untapped prosperity at every level, from rural and urban livelihoods through to the growth of businesses and of entire national economies.
Water is key to prosperity and economic growth
The supply of readily available fresh water is finite and in many watersheds quality is declining. Economic growth, driven largely by the middle class, combined with changing climatic conditions will mean the number of people living in river basins under severe water stress will more than double between 2000 and 2050 and reach 3.9 billion people, or 43% of the global population1
If left unmanaged, water risks can negatively impact livelihoods and value chains generating significant missed opportunities. Water risks are shared by us all and we need to play our part to ensure a reliable, clean supply of water, that is managed and used as efficiently as possible.
SABMiller has set two 2020 water targets: the first is to improve water efficiency in our own operations to reduce water use to 3.0 hectolitres (hl) of water per hl beer and 1.8 hl water per hl soft drink. The second is to look beyond our own operations to secure the water supplies we share with local communities through partnerships to tackle shared water risks.