Carbon seems to have dominated this year – perhaps not surprising given the climate change deal struck in Paris at the end of 2015. There was a time when carbon and water were often talked about in the same breath – water footprint labels and carbon labels were, not so long ago, going to be commonplace on packaged goods.
Water has dropped off the radar in recent months, but a low profile does not mean the challenges have evaporated, of course. The cost of inaction on water security is getting higher every year, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project. This year companies reported $14 billion (€13.4 billion) in water-related impacts through CDP, up from $2.6 billion (€2.5 billion).
Carbon may well continue to attract the headlines, but it will be hard to ignore the challenges that a rapidly changing climate will have on the availability of water. Action will not only reduce supply risk, but could also be a useful differentiator as carbon reduction becomes commonplace.