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3 Important Sustainability Trends the Water Industry Should Look Out For
Written by: Renee Huang
It comes with no surprise that water scarcity, changing demographics and operational efficiency are top issues for the global water sector. As if it’s not bad enough, these potential challenges are amplified by the unpredictable impact of climate change.
Hence, water and sewerage companies across the world are coming under pressure to do more with less, scrambling to put operational efficiency measures to the top of their agenda. As such, new opportunities surface for business with a focus on providing solutions for more efficient or sustainable water provision or use – and has never been more important to understand the trends driving these changes.
Here are 3 important sustainability trends every business in the water industry should keep in mind. Who knows, these tabs may come in useful for your next strategy meeting.
1. Prepare for a customer-led revolution
Consumers today are empowered by digital technology. So much so that they are predisposed to a myriad of personalised products and services to optimise their work, improve their way of life and help them reach their goals. To meet these expectations, businesses must deal with the reality of an empowered customer.
In this customer-led landscape, the water industry is continuously challenged to examine how to co-create solutions with customers. When this is achieved, there will be good opportunities for establishing long-term customer relationships while solving challenges within the water domain.
2. Smart and intelligent network technologies
Smart water network solutions improve the reliability of physical water infrastructure by collecting and analysing data more efficiently. The use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and data analytics has not only to help to improve infrastructure management and reduce non-revenue water losses but also support important changes to the ways in which water utilities and companies operate.
These brilliant end-to-end water networks are what offers businesses the opportunity to improve productivity and efficiency while enhancing customer service. However, do not fret if these capabilities are not within your reach (in the near future, at least). As long as your business tries to continuously solve water-related issues by turning challenges into opportunities and solutions, you’re already in the lead.
3. Water is the new carbon
In light of United Nation’s revelation that water scarcity will prove to be one of the most significant problems of the 21st century, water scarcity has presented itself to be a formidable rival as it competes with carbon emissions for the public’s attention on the global agenda.
As such, the sustainability dialogue could shift from global issues such as climate change to local, community-based solutions in developing regions. Jumping onto the water sustainability bandwagon has evolved from a mere trend as businesses commit to taking immediate action. For example, since 1999, multination corporations like Frito-Lay has cut their water use by 40%, and Coca-Cola plans to become “water neutral” by 2020.
Nearly half the world’s population—3.3 billion people—lacks access to clean water or soon will, and it’s only a matter of time before the rest of us feel the pinch. If you haven’t taken action, water are you waiting for?