Across the west, business leaders are becoming increasingly aware of the potential risk that record droughts present to the economy and our quality of life.
How we will provide sufficient water in one of the country’s driest states, even as our population and economy continues to grow, is a challenge that we must address.
A Growing Need for Business Leadership
In a 2014 survey of over 50 companies, the majority Fortune 500 and publicly traded, representing virtually every industry sector, was released by the Pacific Institute and VOX Global, titled Bridging Concern with Action: Are US Companies Prepared for Looming Water Challenges?This survey found that nearly 60 percent of responding companies indicated that water is poised to negatively affect business growth and profitability within five years, while more than 80 percent said it will affect their decision on where to locate facilities. This is a stark increase from only five years ago, when water issues affected business growth and profitability for less than 20 percent of responding companies.
Utah: Water is Your Business Forum
The Salt Lake Chamber is taking steps to provide a look at wise water regulation by hosting an open half-day forum entitled, Utah: Water Is Your Business Forum on Friday, May 8, 2015. This seminar features keynote speaker Will Sarni, a director with Deloitte Consulting LLP, who develops and implements corporate-wide sustainability and water strategies for corporations, public sector enterprises and NGOs. He is known for having authored Corporate Water Strategies, Water Techand the forthcoming 21st Century Growth: Beyond the Energy-Water-Food Nexus.
Local Companies that are Using Water Wisely
Many businesses are already demonstrating leadership on this issue by looking at prudent ways to use water effectively. The Salt Lake Bee’s organization, for example, responded with this when asked about what they are doing to conserve water:
“Water is essential to the business of Bees baseball. The pristine field conditions are in part due to wise water management during all weather conditions. Three years ago, the Bees consulted with the Salt Lake City water conservation department to change hundreds of sprinkler heads at Miller Sports Properties facilities, including Smith’s Ballpark and the plaza at EnergySolutionsArena.
“The switch from broadcast sprinklers to rotary sprinkler heads resulted in the reduction of water use on the baseball field. The rotary nozzles provided a more accurate distribution and concentrated stream of water that landed more effectively on the grass and soil. By delivering water at a lower rate, the Bees saved water and dollars while maintaining the highest level of playing conditions for professional athletes.”
Check out the Salt Lake Chamber Blog to learn how other organizations like Granite Construction and BD Medical save millions of gallons of water each year during their day-to-day operations.
Community leadership is required if we are going to ensure we use every drop of water as efficiently and effectively as possible. We encourage you share you voice regarding what you’d like Utah’s water future to look like by taking the survey at www.envisionutah.org.