“RippedFrom the Headlines” EGS Dependencies and Impacts Report
Thearticle focuses on the various impacts water scarcity bear on thegeneral operations of companies. In the article, the issue of watermanagement is taken keenly with incorporations of water riskcalculations with respect to the decision making processes of acompany as well as strategic planning. In addition, this articleexposes a worrying trend among major companies around the globe withtwo-thirds of the companies accepting the fact that they are exposedto water-related risks thus could affect their survival and growth.Some of these companies include Diageo in Nairobi, Coca-Cola in Indiathat has expressed significant water-use concerns. There isinefficiency in the manner in which water risks are measured,implemented, and managed. The article under study is extracted fromhttp://www.greenbiz.com/article/state-green-business-water-scarcity>.
Thewell-being of humans and the health of ecosystem worldwide areaffected by changes in global water cycle which result from humanpressure. Therefore, it affects the operations of economic activitiesthat human beings rely on such as industries, agriculture and health.The topic expounds on the global pressure on the water capacity andtheir impacts on industries. Many industries rely on water for theirprocesses hence water capacity becomes integral in their operations.However, there has been a worrying trend on the pressure exerted onwater by human activities which in effect threatens the growth andsustainability of these industries. The study aims at highlightingthe global pressures on water capacity and brings out the impacts theimpact of water scarcity on industries. Key management issuessurrounding water and its calculations and retention are explored. The study is inspired by water shortages and poor water resourcemanagement to numerous industries. However, some industries havedesigned efficient water management mechanisms.
Owingto the fact that for the world to be properly fed, the global economyneeds to grow and water is critical in ensuring this growth. Nonetheless, water can also be a significant limiting factor ingrowth of our economy. To this effect, I find this topic worthexploration given the little attention it has been accorded. Thereare several gains that can be made if industries incorporate watermanagement strategies in their main decision making processes. Thetopic is related to EGS framework as it will explore on waterretention as well as purification to enhance access to fresh water. Second, for the industries to expand and manufacturing and productionactivities to take place, more water will still be needed.Additionally, the relation of the topic to EGS framework is seen asthe pressure on water capacity affects the quality of water that isused in the production process.
Thissection is particularly set to explore various studies other scholarshave conducted on the topic under study. It introduces the currentstate of water environment and the impacts it bears on thesocio-economic development and on the growth and survival ofindustries. It further highlights a number of significant factorsthat either directly or indirectly influence change in the atmosphereand on land (Cosgrove & Rijsberman 2014). In addition, itpresents a connection between EGS and industries, the facets offramework and their relation to the growth of industries. The chapterwinds with an analysis of recent trends in water use in industries,and the impact the trends pose on the growth of these industries.
Wateris critical to life. An ancient Greece referred water to as the“blood of the earth” (Zhu, Sarkis, & Lai 2007).This is due tothe fact that water is a key prerequisite of every aspect of life onearth. First and foremost, water is applied in a wide range ofdomestic activities stretching from consumption, cooking, laundry,among other facets of the home (Miller 1993). Also, water is anecessity in agriculture. Agricultural establishments highly rely onwater for a lucrative harvest. Additionally, a good number ofmanufacturing as well as processing industries make use of water inmany processes (Cosgrove & Rijsberman 2014). Availability ofwater to both domestic and industrial use varies in respect to theamount of water needed, geographical location of the home or industryin need, among other factors (Arnell 1999). Cosgrove & Rijsberman2014) contrasted that even though water may be in ample supply insome regions, it availability in other places may be wanting. Thisfact has seen water take an economic recognition and financial value.However, a number of factors have initiated changes in the atmosphereand land consequently tampering with the access to water in variousplaces.
Driversof Change and Pressure
Thischapter will take cognizance of the factors that influence change inthe atmosphere and land. Issues such as climate change and water usewill be exploited in this section. A number of factors haveinfluenced the atmosphere and the land on which we heavily rely on.In particular, constant changes in climatic conditions and extremewater use have exerted a lot of pressure on the availability ofwater.
Tobegin with, climate change has born significant influence to changeand pressure on water in the world. Climate change affects rainfallpatterns and general water resources (Zhu, Sarkis, & Lai 2007).This generates stress to water resources in various parts of theworld. For instance, surface runoff water decreases significantly.Such changes can be witnessed in some parts of the world includingMediterranean, some regions in Europe, parts of central and southernAmerica, as well as southern Africa (Zhu, Sarkis, & Lai). Incontrast, climate change influences an increase in surface runoff insome other water-stressed parts of the world such as in the southernand eastern Asia. However, this may not be bear concrete benefitsbecause the increase is often experienced in the course of the wetseason yet this water may not last long enough to be felt during thedry spell.
Furthermoreclimate change causes an increase in greenhouse gases Arnell (1999).Arnell (1999) further observed that the greenhouse effect ischaracterized by the emission of chloro-floro-carbon gases (CFCs)into the atmosphere. In result, this affects the volume and timing ofriver flows, as w ell as ground water recharge (Fillaudeau, Blanpain,& Daufin 2006). This trend only deepens the number anddistribution of people facing water shortages.
Also,climate contributes to the loss of mountain snowpack and quiteearlier spring (which result in melting of snow due to conditions ofextreme atmospheric temperature), and shrinking of mountain glaciers(Fillaudeau, Blanpain, & Daufin 2006). In addition, thegreenhouse effect causes a rise in sea water level. In low-lying, andgentle sloping coastal areas, this phenomenon may cause intrusion ofsea salt water into ground water which is our main source of drinkingwater
Increasedwater use on earth also heightens the pressure exerted on watersources (Zhu, Sarkis, & Lai). For instance, since the onset ofindustrial revolution, a series of technological developments haveled to the rapid of large industrial establishment that havespecialized in the manufacture and processing of goods. For theiroptimal functioning, all these enterprises require water as anelement in their processes (Miller 1993). The sheer increase in thenumber and volume of industries has exerted additional pressure onwater resources.
Additionally,population increase across the globe has necessitated an increase inwater supply (Miller 1993) exerting additional pressure on the direwater resources (Cosgrove & Rijsberman 2014). Industrialdevelopments and technological advancements in the health sector haveboosted our living standards and life expectancy consequentlyresulting in increased human population (Zhu, Sarkis, & Lai2007). Today, various aspects and activities of the human populationstretching from domestic to occupational also involve water.
Agriculturealso exerts more pressure on water sources. In orders to feed thisincreased population, the agricultural sector has embraced practicessuch as irrigation which still heightens the pressure on watersources (Arnell 1999). Generally, modern agriculture is mechanicallyintensive. The application of automated machines in the production ofhuman food has made it possible for many people to bring moreunoccupied land onto use (Fillaudeau, Blanpain, & Daufin, 2006).For instance, arid and semi-arid areas in various continents havebeen put to irrigation. Besides that, water-logged valleys have alsobe reclaimed and put under cultivation in an effort to boost foodproduction. All these developments continue to increase the pressureon water resources (Cosgrove & Rijsberman 2014).
Wateris an important ecological good, in particular, a raw material inmany industries Cosgrove, & Rijsberman 2014). A great deal ofindustries relies on water resource either directly or indirectly. Inmost occasions, the industries have to collect, clean, and store, aswell as distribute water in large quantities within their premisesfor either immediate or delayed use.
Industriesrely on water for the manufacture and processing of their products.For example, large Multinational corporations such as Coca Cola inIndia and Diageo in Kenya among others involved in the production ofbeverages and mineral/bottled water, for instance, heavily depend onwater for their processes (Cosgrove, & Rijsberman, 2014). Most ofthese enterprises are relatively large in scale and involve heavyprocesses that are depended on water. Water is used either as a rawmaterial, as in the cases above or in other maintenance functionssuch as cooling heating components within the entities. Fillaudeau,Blanpain, & Daufin (2006) noted that thermal power industry(which uses water for cooling electricity generating equipment) ledin water consumption. Furthermore, industries need to maintain highstandards of tidiness. This is not only to ensure the safety andsecurity of their internal employees, but also that of the publicconsumers. Miller (1993) contented that the use of water in thisprocess is inevitable.
Also,a good number of industries are involved in the distribution ofwater. This may take the form of distribution for individual industryconsumption or for general supply to other business and publicorganizations. Nonetheless, the modes and channels of distributingwater are diverse however, pipeline is the most preferred. Zhu,Sarkis, & Lai (2007) added that there are industries as well asother organizations which concentrate on water distribution as theirline of service. Therefore, a scarcity in water may prove a blow totheir existence (Miller 1993). This further explains industrydependency on water sources. Besides private industries, national,regional, as well local authorities are always mandated to ensureeffective public access to not only clean but also adequate water.Therefore, there have to source, collect, store and distribute waterto various points for public access (Cosgrove, & Rijsberman,2014). For example, in the United States, there exist many treatmentplants, reservoirs, and distribution pipelines which were built fiftyto a hundred years ago (Miller 1993).
Moreover,industries are also involved in collection and storage of water. Thisis specifically ground and surface water. Due to perceived shortagesin water, as well as the uncertainty in water resources, theseindustries have devised strategies to ensure they have continuedaccess to sufficient amount of water (Miller 1993). Arnell (1999)brings us to the attention that extraction of underground watercoupled by construction of water reservoirs is a clear example of howthese industries rely on water for existence and growth.
Trendsin Water Use in Industries
Theincreased pressures and challenges faced in relation to access andavailability of water has seen various countries strategize theirsystems to improve the economic (Zhu, Sarkis, & Lai 2007) andenvironmental performance. In so doing, a number of them havecontemplated considering effective use and management of their watersources (Fillaudeau, Blanpain, & Daufin 2006). For example, anumber of industries in various countries have embraced eco-friendlypractices such as the green supply chain management performance intheir endeavors. Arnell (1999) argued that such initiatives includeattempts to present a risk analysis of more pressing issues in waterresource at present, and also in future. Significant efforts are alsomade to sensitize all stakeholders on how water entails a potentialrisk in future (Zhu, Sarkis, & Lai 2007).
Additionally,sustainable water management is a current major trend in manyindustries around the world (Fillaudeau, Blanpain, & Daufin2006). Focus is not only paid on the current use of water but also tothe future’s utilization of this vital resource.
Impactsof Industries on Water Resources
Thesheer pressure industries exert on water resources has beenconsidered a global problem (Fillaudeau, Blanpain, & Daufin2006). Generally, industrial processes are water intensive. Theynecessitate significant water supplies in this phase in which thegeneral water supply does not meet the threshold of humanconsumption. Therefore, coupled by domestic water requirements,industrial thirst for water has even doubled pressure on water(Cosgrove & Rijsberman 2014). Furthermore, increased industrialactivity is set to continue. Change is inevitable. With this in mind,it is vivid that water shortage is crisis the world is destined tosuffer indefinitely.
Since1950, water for irrigation in the US has increased by about 29percent (Fillaudeau, Blanpain, & Daufin 2006). Thus, it is moreominous our underground aquifers and surface water sources are notonly facing extinction due to years of overuse, but also contaminatedby the increased industrial activities. Cosgrove & Rijsberman,(2014) highlighted that human and industrial activities continue todeplete ground water resources, and pollute surface sources (riversand streams) at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, we remain adamantwith our water sinking on its knees.
Atthis juncture, it is worth to note that water constitutes a criticalresource to industries. However, increased industrial activitycompounded by worldwide population explosion has subjected waterresources to a lot of pressure (Zhu, Sarkis, & Lai 2007).Consequently, water scarcity has become a major problem thatnecessitates immediate solution. Therefore, industrial managementought to embraced eco-friendly and sustainable utilization andmanagement of water for today and tomorrow. Cosgrove &Rijsberman (2014) advised that water shortage is an imminent,life-threatening disaster which requires all stakeholders to quicklyput aside their differences, pay sufficient focus and cooperate toresolve the crisis.
Arnell,N. W. (1999). Climate change and global water resources.Globalenvironmental change, 9, S31-S49.
Cosgrove,W. J., & Rijsberman, F. R. (2014). World water vision: makingwater everybody`s business. Routledge.
Fillaudeau,L., Blanpain-Avet, P., &Daufin, G. (2006).Water, wastewater andwaste management in brewing industries. Journal of CleanerProduction, 14(5), 463-471.
Miller,K. D. (1993). Industry and country effects on managers` perceptionsof environmental uncertainties. Journal of International BusinessStudies, 693-714.
Zhu,Q., Sarkis, J., & Lai, K. H. (2007). Green supply chainmanagement: pressures, practices and performance within the Chineseautomobile industry. Journal of Cleaner Production, 15(11),1041-1052.