60% of US companies see water problems as a threat to growth
The majority of American businesses are aware of the potential impact of water challenges they may face in future, with three in five large corporations believing that water problems are likely to affect business growth, as well as profit, over the next five years, new research by environmental think-tank the Pacific Institute and public relations company VOX Global has found.
Businesses seem to be more aware of the problems associated with water management and water availability, in comparison to previous years. By contrast, the proportion of businesses that saw water as a potential obstacle for growth was less than 20% five years ago. The research also found that more than 80 percent of the companies polled believe that water is likely to affect their decision-making when selecting where to locate facilities.
However, this finding contrasts with companies' plans to ensure they are taking steps to reduce the effect of water challenges. The survey revealed that more than two in three businesses believe they are investing enough in water risk management policies, planning no increase in budgets.
Still, the fact that U.S. businesses are becoming increasingly conscious of water issues is encouraging, the Pacific Institute noted. On the one hand, water presents societal problems, but on the other it can have a major effect on industries and the economy as a whole, possibly even leading to companies reducing the volume and quality of production, said Jason Morrison, program director of the Pacific Institute.