NAPERVILLE, ILL.—By the year 2030, water demand is expected to exceed sustainable supply by 40 percent, but only 42 percent of respondents from a recent survey conducted by Ecolab and GreenBiz Group cited water management as a strategic corporate initiative. According to the research, 82 percent of the 184 large businesses surveyed say they are not sufficiently using advanced tools and technologies to better manage their water use.
To encourage better water management practices, Nalco Water, Ecolab’s global water management business, has created Water University, a hands-on training facility for Nalco Water clients and associates. The new Water University was dedicated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nalco Water’s Naperville campus. Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, former U.S. Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, State Senator Michael Connelly and Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico, as well as leaders from industry and non-governmental organizations and other local representatives, were part of the opening ceremonies.
Water University will provide the tools and training businesses need to strategically manage water more efficiently. The innovative learning environment showcases water management technologies serving a variety of industries. It also features a training facility with a lab and a range of equipment for hands-on training. Water University is expected to host more than 2,200 global visitors in 2018.
Goal for 2030: Save 300 Billion Gallons of Water
“In partnership with our customers, our goal by 2030 is to help save 300 billion gallons of water annually—equal to the yearly drinking needs of more than one billion people,” said Christophe Beck, Executive Vice President and President of Nalco Water. “Water University is a state-of-the-art facility where 200 scientists share solutions to conserve our most precious resource—water.”
Ecolab’s 25,000-strong field team serves customers globally, and they have access to data from tens of thousands of digitally controlled and remotely monitored IoT devices to ensure immediate problem identification and resolution.
The Ecolab/GreenBiz Group survey further underscores the need for companies to rethink their water management. Key findings of the survey include:
- Water is an increasing priority—especially in the consumer-packaged goods and healthcare industries—but it still is not a key factor in corporate decision making.
- Most companies have water-related targets (75 percent)—but the retail and healthcare sectors are lagging in integrating water into corporate decision making.
- Respondents said the key drivers for managing water are: mitigating business risk (48 percent); meeting regulatory requirements (33 percent); saving money (30 percent); achieving internal goals (28 percent); protecting local sources of water (28 percent); and improving company brand (23 percent).
- The majority of companies (82 percent) say they lack the tools and strategies to turn data into actionable insights.
“We need to start thinking about how we can do more with the water we are using,” said Jason Morrison, President of the Pacific Institute and head of CEO Water Mandate, which partnered with Ecolab to evaluate the survey findings. “We all need to help drive this shift from thinking of water as a consumable good to managing water as a reusable asset.”