The U.S. surprised many by vowing to reduce its carbon emissions by 50%. This pledge followed hot on the heels of a similar announcement by the U.K., and many other positive speeches from world leaders gathered at President Joe Biden’s virtual summit. Yet there was no mention of the earth’s most precious resource – water – and of companies’ often troubled relationship with it. Global water use has more than doubled in the last 40 years. But water scarcity is a topic that interests few people compared to levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide or global temperature rise. Yet, most industries would not be able to survive without it. Water is not just essential to agriculture. It is non-replaceable in manufacturing, technology, mining, energy, and more. Just look to Taiwan, a country currently experiencing a historic drought that is threatening its ability to produce computer chips. As businesses now look to fall in line with the carbon pledges governments make on the global stage, why are they not held to similar standards on water? The water crisis is often described in terms of the excessive number of people who lack access to clean water or sanitation. This is an ongoing disaster, but the water crisis does not stop with people alone. The agricultural sector takes up approximately 70% of global water withdrawals, with the industrial sector comprising a further 19%. Croplands make heavy demands on water in the Brazilian Cerrado. Pictured here is a large-scale irrigation system. Conservationists are concerned about…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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