Water Usage by Big Companies

Blue gold is still golden, Chris Mayer tells us.

“Industry is worried about water,” he continues. “It should be, because it uses a lot of it. J.P. Morgan finds that the ‘big five’ food and beverage companies use 150 billion gallons of water per year, enough to satisfy the daily water needs of every person on the planet.

“The Economist ran a good piece recently highlighting industry’s reliance on water and water’s relationship in producing so many goods. In Silicon Valley, for instance, 25% of the water use is for making computer chips. Across the country, 40% of the water drawn from lakes and aquifers goes toward cooling power plants. The link between water and energy is strong and largely unappreciated, but not by industry insiders.

“According to a recent survey by the Marsh Center for Risk Insights, 40% of Fortune 100 companies recognize that the impact of a water shortage on their businesses would be ‘severe’ or ‘catastrophic.’ Some are taking measures to mitigate water intake as water scarcity issues become more important.

“I was impressed to read that Nestle has reduced its water usage by 29% since 1997. Yet 49 of its 481 factories are in water-stressed regions. It takes about 1 gallon of water to make 1 gallon of product. That understates true water usage, though, because it doesn’t factor in the amount of water needed to produce the food products Nestle uses as raw materials. According to Jose Lopez, executive vice president, that’s about 793 gallons for 1 gallon of product.

“The Mayer’s Special Situations “Blue Gold” portfolio remains in good position to profit on freshwater scarcity issues.”

Bill Bonner
for Markets and Money

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success and garnered camaraderie in numerous communities and industries. A man of many talents, his entrepreneurial savvy, unique writings, philanthropic undertakings, and preservationist activities have all been recognized and awarded by some of America’s most respected authorities. Along with Addison Wiggin, his friend and colleague, Bill has written two New York Times best-selling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. Both works have been critically acclaimed internationally. With political journalist Lila Rajiva, he wrote his third New York Times best-selling book, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets, which offers concrete advice on how to avoid the public spectacle of modern finance. Since 1999, Bill has been a daily contributor and the driving force behind Markets and Money.
Bill Bonner

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