Net Zero for Water? It's More Complicated Than That

As net zero emissions becomes the standard for sustainability-minded corporations worldwide, this carbon mindset is being misapplied to water as we hear more and more about “net zero water.”

But the truth is, water is more complicated than that and cannot be distilled down to an accounting exercise due to its unique traits.

In general, water is relegated to lower tiered status in corporate sustainability relative to other issues. After all, clean water is just as important to business – and life – as clean air. Even when water is addressed, it is typically approached from a management perspective, focused on broadly defined conservation goals divorced from the on-the-ground context.

Companies need to apply a true water stewardship approach. Water stewardship is commonly defined as the use of water that is socially and culturally equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial, achieved through a stakeholder-inclusive process that includes both site- and watershed-based actions.

Click here to read the full column at Smart Energy Decisions by The Water Council's Matt Howard and Stacy Vogel Davis. The Water Council will present a Spotlight Session, “Thriving in a Water-Stressed World” at SED’s Net Zero Forum, February 26-28, 2024 at The Woodlands, Texas.

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