Thinking globally about local water crises

BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP | Fresh water is the basis of life on our planet, a basic human right, a critical factor in the health of our global environment, and a vital part of the operations of businesses in a wide range of industries. But this resource is fragile and prone to crises. According to the United Nations, 4 billion people—more than half the world’s total population—suffer from water scarcity every year. The diversity of freshwater species has declined more than 80% since 1970. And in 2018, businesses worldwide reported $38.5 billion in financial losses related to water scarcity or pollution.

In short, the situation is dire—and it will only get worse as global warming changes hydrological patterns around the world. Although greenhouse gas emissions and water issues are related global problems, they require very different solutions. Our climate is a globally intertwined system, and slowing down climate change demands global actions. Every independent action we take contributes to the overall effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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