What is water footprint, via Water Footprint Network.
The world (including US) is projected to have water shortage sometime in the future, via WSJ.
Two-thirds of the world's population is projected to face water scarcity by 2025, according to the United Nations. In the U.S., water managers in 36 states anticipate shortages by 2013, a General Accounting Office report shows. Last year, Georgia lawmakers tried, unsuccessfully, to move the state's border north so that Georgia could claim part of the Tennessee River.
In addition to that, we've got these trends to deal with. The 5 trends that will affect the fresh water use, via World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
1. Population growth that is projected to reach over 8 billion in 2030 and level off at 9 billion by 2050. This is a wake up call.
2. Increasing affluence. The rate of poverty alleviation is increasingly within the two population giants of China and India. Increasing affluence inevitably means more water consumption from demanding water for gardens, car washing, etc.
3. Expansion of business activity from industrialization to services such as tourism and entertainment continues to expand rapidly.
4. Rapid urbanization. Urbanization requires significant investment in water infrastructure to deliver water to individuals and to process the concentration of wastewater - both from individuals and business.
With these trends in mind, common sense approach for business pointed to start tracking water usage (directly or indirectly) to run and support the operation - in order to sustain the business.
We probably don't realize this: to produce one cup of coffee it needs 140 liters of water (think Starbucks operation). For the production of one kilogram of beef it requires 16 thousand liters of water. And so is the production of one liter of milk, it requires 1,000 liters of water! That much water? Yes, you got it right. This data is coming straight from the Water Footprint Network.
So water conservation is the answer. It is the low hanging fruit.
images: From Water Facts and Trends (WBCSD)