The World Economic Forum has identified water scarcity as one of the top three global risks to business. Many sectors use large quantities of water in their operations and supply chains including agriculture, textiles, mining, energy generation, electronics, and food and beverage.
Water scarcity may greatly increase the operating costs of a water-intensive operation, or even threaten its license to operate when government and regulators ration water supplies and prioritize domestic consumption over industrial use. Capital expenditure on large projects such as new manufacturing facilities may need to be assessed for their impact on water availability. In addition, businesses are faced with tough decisions about how to allocate operating expenditure related to water efficiency projects.