Tahukah Anda

Water Stress

The issue of water stress is indeed becoming a significant challenge for global supply chains and society. According to the data and projections from the World Resources Institute (WRI), it is clear that many regions worldwide are facing or will soon face severe water shortages. Here are some critical points to consider:

  1. Current and Future Water Stress: The UN’s 2020 figures indicated a manageable global water stress at 18.2%. However, projections for 2050 by WRI suggest that 31% of the global population will experience high to extremely high water stress. This includes not only countries in traditionally water-scarce regions like the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, India, and North Africa but also parts of Southern Europe such as Spain, Portugal, and Italy.
  2. Impact on Emerging and Developed Countries: While emerging countries are often at the forefront of water scarcity discussions, developed nations are not immune. Southern Europe is already experiencing high water stress, with Spain expected to see significant worsening by 2050. Countries like France and Poland are projected to experience medium to high water stress, indicating a consumption rate of 20-40% of their available resources.
  3. Infrastructure Challenges: The infrastructure supporting water supply, particularly dams, is aging. With 40% of the world’s agricultural production depending on these structures, their deteriorating state poses a risk to water availability. For example, China’s dams, averaging 46 years old, are nearing the “alert” age of 50 years, and the UK and Japan’s dams have an average age of around 100 years.
  4. Declining Groundwater Levels: Groundwater depletion is another critical issue, with 71% of aquifer systems experiencing declining levels between 2000 and 2022. The Ascoy-Soplamo Aquifer in Spain, with a median decline of 2.95 meters per year, exemplifies the severity of the situation.
  5. Supply Chain Implications: Water scarcity has direct implications for manufacturing and supply chains. Industries must reconsider their water usage, potentially redesigning processes to minimize water dependency. This could involve innovations in water recycling, efficiency improvements, and shifting towards less water-intensive production methods.
  6. Broader Societal Impact: Beyond supply chains, water scarcity threatens food security, health, and social stability. As water becomes a more limited resource, competition for it could lead to conflicts, migration, and significant economic disruptions.

In conclusion, water scarcity is not just an environmental issue but a profound socio-economic challenge. It is a hidden mega-risk that necessitates immediate and coordinated action across sectors to ensure sustainable water management and secure future supply chains. Addressing this issue involves investments in infrastructure, technology, policy reforms, and a collective effort to prioritize water conservation and efficiency.

Sharing this information with relevant stakeholders like Kelly Barner, Jon W. Hansen, Jo Jones MCIM, Alice Fleet, Chris McCann, Vera Trappmann, Chee Yew Wong, Anna Lerner Nesbitt, Dr. Hushneara Begum, Kate Hutchinson, Pia Pinkawa, Jo Parkin (MCIPS), Susannah Hopson, Lucy Burrow Petford, Professor Anthony Conway, Dr. Jack Barrie, Ana Maria Dias, Sappho Herrera, Steven Downes, Georgia Wilson, The Sustainable Procurement Pledge, Procurement Magazine, and Sustainability Magazine can help raise awareness and drive collective action towards mitigating this critical risk.

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