According to the new Global Water Report 2013 by international not-for-profit organization CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, water scarcity problems are set to become more common over the years to come and businesses need to change their approach to water-related risk management, The Guardian reported.

The report found that water risks are becoming increasingly immediate and a growing number of companies expect to feel their impact within the next five years. About two-thirds of the 180 companies that were surveyed for the report identify water risks in their direct operations and in the supply chain as near-term. The most commonly cited water risks include water scarcity, flooding and a rise in compliance costs, CDP said. Other risks that businesses predict will increase over the next few years are poor water quality, increased water prices and reputational harm.

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CDP stated that the general corporate view on water management too often stresses direct water use reduction. This is a very limited and outdated approach that fails to recognize the wide range of water risks that businesses will face in the near future, CDP pointed out.

Although the number of businesses acknowledging the fact that water issues cannot be resolved in isolation is rising, one in six companies still fail to comply with their water discharge permits, while a modest 3 percent of those polled had targets for water management, CDP concluded.