The Water Crisis: How Companies can Help Make a Difference


The social issue I feel most strongly about is the need for clean water. Known as the clean water crisis or the global water crisis, the scarcity of water will only increase and very few countries will have the ability to have clean drinking water in the next 10-25 years. I think this is an issue worth caring about because as humans we all should have access to clean water, it seems so simple and something that I find myself including and others around me take for granted. This is also a good opportunity for companies to develop into their CSR programs; almost everything can be connected to water including children, poverty, health etc. Starting a company that has the focus of the water crisis in mind would be a company that is stakeholder related but also a company that is current in all economic issues. Starting a company that is driven by the social issue of having clean water correlates well with stakeholder theory because its mission is to do something enriching for the economy, environment and society around them, they are taking in all aspects of how a company effects the world.

Recently I have read many articles that suggest the water crisis is the new oil crisis; that is a scary similarity to make considering all the efforts put towards the oil crisis. The cause of the problem is mainly due to climate change and pollution. Climate change is alternating the weather patterns and water source goes from extremes of droughts and flooding. Only three percent of the earth’s water is fresh, meaning water storage will become difficult very soon and ecosystems will become extinct.

Companies can develop solutions to the water crisis as well as solutions to people having clean water through education and technology. A framework a company could develop would be to devise a campaign to generate knowledge about clean water and how scarce it is for people in developing countries and how scarce it will also become in general. Through educating people there can be practices about saving water and how people can generate solutions themselves through their own ideas and communities. An example of that is recycling rainwater; companies can start initiatives to have recycling rainwater as learning program to its consumers. Also businesses that are food based and source their food from farms can implement a better way of farming irrigation. Farming is actually a main source of wasting water and if farmers can start limiting the amount of water they use, that could help the water crisis dramatically. The technology aspect would be a way cleaning water that is contaminated and making resources last. A company could develop a way of making sure this is done by experimenting with how and what effects water contamination the most.

 

 

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5 thoughts on “The Water Crisis: How Companies can Help Make a Difference

  1. I agree with you regarding the fact that clean water is a resource that is so essential to everyone and yet access to it is not universal. I think I also take advantage of the fact that water is so important and so accessible in my every day life. A very recent example of this was earlier today when we all received an email about the water main break and the lack of water that we would be getting without knowledge of when we would be getting it back. My friends and I were worried about whether or not we’d be able to shower – in other countries, people don’t even have water to drink.

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  2. Margaret, you raise some valuable solutions to the water crisis, a crisis I did not fully grasp the severity of. I agree with both you and @myc001 about the general public being blinded by water as a resource because we have such easy access to it in our homes, dorms, classroom settings, etc. I cannot begin to fathom the struggle so many individuals face in countries lacking easy access to water, but it is something we cannot ignore. I think that educating the general public about this issue could make a huge difference, but also the technology to recycle and reuse water could make a huge impact.

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  3. Margaret, you bring up some really interesting points! The phrase water supply is definitely something you never want to see in the same sentence as the word crisis. Water is the most basic and vital resource for human survival, yet as a society we can’t even take care of it and use it wisely. The fact that water is being equated to oil is most definitely a scary thought. As @lmk021 mentions, as college students especially, no one really thinks of water conservation when taking a shower, washing their hands, etc. Especially because, here at Bucknell, we don’t directly have to pay for the water we consume. Its funny yet sad how, a lot of times, when you link things to a price, people start to care more and conserve more.

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  4. The water crisis is a pretty scary thing but like most things of this nature, people often don’t react fully until reality has slapped them in the face. I’ve said this numerous times in previous blogs, but for people “out of sight out of mind” is generally sufficient to allow them to turn a blind eye to a problem. I’m guilty of it as well. I don’t have issues getting water, so I don’t see an issue in the short term. As soon as this problem knocks on my front door, I will have a totally different perspective. I’m sure that down the line, this problem will become harder to ignore.

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  5. Great points, I agree that access to clean water is necessary in providing for a sustainable community. You mention the potential for advancing educational opportunities in water deprived areas such as learning to recycle rainwater. While such methods would be effective, I think combating the water crisis involves treating the indirect root causes of the issue. Similar to Fabio Rosa, the issue of having access to clean water has deeper causes such as access to power or price discrimination by utility providers. This presents an opportunity for social entrepreneurs such as the Ashoka fellows to provide unique solutions to these difficult problems.

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