Water Stewardship: Business’ Role for Water SecurityAboitizEyes
Water is a precious yet finite resource that is vital to our way of life. Beyond consumption, we need clean and safe water for a range of processes and systems that keep us alive and sustain our way of life. Unfortunately, water is fast becoming a scant resource, especially in poor nations. It is for that reason that we believe that not only people but also the organizations they belong to, should make a commitment toward water stewardship.
What is Water Stewardship?
By definition, to be a steward is to take care of something important to you or to others, protecting it for future generations to enjoy. It’s about placing enough value in something so as to want to preserve it so that others, too, can appreciate it.
In nature conservation, stewardship can be defined as the responsible handling of resources. Value is placed in the act of conserving natural resources, with the knowledge that taking care of these resources will be beneficial for all.
Water stewardship, then, starts with the realization of just how important clean water is, and continues through global water conservation and implementing universal practices for supplying clean water to those who need it.
The Water Crisis
Water is arguably the most important resource in the world. Despite that, 771 million people worldwide lack access to safe water and an estimated 2 billion lack access to adequate sanitation.
This is the concept of water scarcity or water stress, the condition wherein the demand for water in a specific area greatly outweighs its available supply. In large part, this can be attributed not only to poor water conservation but also to poor management of the essential resource.
As individuals, everyone is tasked to do their part, and no one should underestimate the impact of hundreds, thousands, or millions of individuals working to conserve and manage water. But the truth remains that as organizations, groups, and businesses, there is more that can be accomplished, in less time.
Water Stewardship for Businesses
Businesses in particular are now implementing water stewardship in their operations and practices after recognizing the need for more organized and impactful efforts. Companies, corporations, and conglomerates are dedicating departments and processes to environmental conservation, and putting water stewardship practices at the top of their lists.
This has been beneficial not just for the environment but for the businesses themselves, improving their operations and establishing them as organizations who care for the future generation.
What Businesses Can Do
Businesses in every industry are key players in making either positive or negative impacts on the environment. This is because nearly every business utilizes water to a degree that is unheard of for a simple consumer. In simpler words, businesses consume much more than any household ever could, so their impact is much greater than that of the average person.
On the other hand, fortunately, any change they make for environmental stewardship works the same way, creating effects like ripples that eventually disrupt the whole pond.
But where to start, and how to go about it? Various organizations—for example, the World Wildlife Foundation or WWF—offer frameworks that outline how water stewardship begins and spreads in a company or business.
For us, we believe in raising awareness first and foremost among the general public and among our teams, then working from the inside outward by implementing stewardship practices in individual companies before continuing toward industry-level change.
Water Stewardship at Aboitiz
Aboitiz Group’s infrastructure arm Aboitiz InfraCapital (AIC) advocates for better water resource management via corporations like Apo Agua Infrastructura, Inc. (Apo Agua) and LIMA Water Corporation (LWC). In addition to hosting seminars and promoting awareness about environmental stewardship, we play a bigger and more direct role in routing clean and safe water to the people who need it most.
One such project of Apo Agua is the Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project (DCBWSP) which pioneers the use of the water-energy nexus concept in the Philippines. This unique concept has water pass through a run-of-river hydroelectric power plant, producing enough renewable energy to supply the demand of the next water treatment plant, which in turn produces safe water for over 1 million Davaoeños.
On the other hand, LIMA Water Corporation (LWC) is spearheading a Smart Water Network, which digitizes LIMA Estate’s water facilities into interconnected and intelligent systems. This program allows LWC’s water system and wastewater treatment services facilities to communicate and automatically adjust operations depending on requirements.
Aboitiz’ move for water stewardship is in line with the United Nations’ 6th Sustainable Development Goal, which focuses on providing and sustaining safe water and sanitation for all.
At Aboitiz, we believe these goals set by the UN are more than just guidelines; they need to become ways of life in order for us to save our planet and ensure livable conditions for generations to come. We are proud to be part of the world’s endeavor to save the environment, and we look forward to the day when the future generation can reap the benefits of our efforts for sustainability in the Philippines.