How Water Cycles Can Help Prevent Disastrous Floods and Drought
In just a few months this year, abnormally low water levels in rivers led China to shut down factories, and floods inundated one-third of Pakistan, killing around 1,500 people and grinding the country to a halt. A dried-up Rhine River threatened to tip Germany’s economy into recession, because cargo ships could not carry standard loads. And the Las Vegas strip turned into a river and flooded casinos, chasing customers away. It seems that such water disasters pepper the news daily now.
Many businesses have long lobbied against changing their practices to safeguard the environment, by refusing to implement pollution controls, take climate action or reduce resource use. The costs are too high and would harm economic growth, they argue. Now we are seeing the price of that inaction.
With mounting climate-fuelled weather disasters, social inequality, species extinctions and resource scarcity, some corporations have adopted sustainability programmes. One term in this realm is ‘circular economy’, in which practitioners aim to increase the efficiency and reuse of resources, including water—ideally making more goods (and more money) in the process.