Water Stewardship

A Holistic Approach to Water Stewardship

Eric Malave
Started by Eric Malave on
10 Mar 2014 at 07:57
Know-how: Water Supply, Treatment, Renewable Energy Treatment, Aquifer Recharge, Hydrology

The demand and competition for diminishing water resources has resulted in unprecedented attention on water.  Communities across the globe are increasingly challenged with providing sustainable and reliable water supplies to households, agriculture, and industry. 

Recognizing water as a rising global challenge and the linkages to business, many companies have significantly advanced their water strategies over the past few years.  Much of this work has been placed upon defining more holistic approaches to water stewardship.  One such company is Cummins.  Since 2011, the global power systems manufacturer has evolved their approach to water into a comprehensive pathway to water stewardship throughout their global operations.  Founded upon managing the footprint of their operations first and foremost, their approach now extends outward to account for community, watershed, and supply chain components.  The company’s approach is based upon three core elements:

How our facilities source, use and discharge water

How we interact with the communities and watersheds within which we operate

Our total value chain and global footprint


Why are companies defining holistic approaches to water stewardship? Water is a unique business issue that can vary in terms of significance and business implications from geography-to-geography.  This requires a non-traditional approach compared with other business variables.  Take it from Todd Swingle, Director - Environmental Strategy at Cummins, Inc:

We recognized that the approach taken with energy couldn’t be directly applied to water.  Water issues are highly complex and different in every region.  The economics for water are much more challenging than for energy – our company needed to take a different approach.” 

A company’s water strategy must apply consistently across a wide range of location-specific water considerations such as:

  • Water Supply Sustainability – Are water sources sufficient to meet the current and future needs of the surrounding ecosystem and local community? 
  • Infrastructure Reliability – are energy and water supplies reliable? 
  • Water Quality – Is water quality or the potential for contamination a concern within a given watershed?
  • Water Governance and Regulations – Are there regulatory challenges with regard to water supply, use/consumption, and/or wastewater discharge?  Are there trends towards full cost accounting?
  • Community Awareness and Concerns – Are water issues regularly covered in the local media and community forums?  What are the main concerns?  

Source: Antea Group




Eric Malave
Do you know any initiative at government side to change the laws for water governance and stewardship? Here is a news in this regard B.C. government to refresh century-old water law http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/news/bc/b-c-government-to-refresh-cen...
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