This article was originally published on The Nature Conservancy


“With 71 percent of the Earth’s surface covered in water, the nickname “Blue Planet” seems apt—yet it’s also deceptive. Less than 3 percent of that water is fresh, and of that, only 1 percent is easily accessible for human use. This scarce natural resource that maintains all life on Earth is finite—we simply can’t make more water. And yet we have been using it in a way that’s unsustainable for both people and nature.

I recently joined Jim Lochhead, CEO of Denver Water; Luca Ruini, Health, Safety, Environment & Energy Vice President at Barilla; and Emilio Tenuta, Vice President of Corporate Sustainability for Ecolab on a panel at The Economist’s Sustainability Summit to discuss this very issue. In front of a packed house of CEOs, industry leaders and water experts, we discussed our precious freshwater resources and the threats they face. Through the dialogue with my fellow panelists, conservation colleagues, and business leaders during the Summit, one point became clear: we need a paradigm shift in the way we think about water.

For a long time, we have viewed our collective water issues through the lens of quantity and quality, asking ourselves: “How do we keep it clean?” or “How will we have enough?” Rather, we should collaboratively focus on placing appropriate value on our freshwater resources and the infrastructure (green and grey) that makes that water available for every aspect of human and economic endeavor. In other words, we need to move our focus to water security—and in doing so, we can expand the stakeholders involved, as well as our range of solutions…”

Read on at: The Nature Conservancy.