How Shell, Chevron and Coke tackle the energy-water-food nexus

Sonal Dalal, Oct 30, 2013

Source: Greenbiz.com (Original article)

 

Food, water and energy are not only essential but interconnected resources for our lives and economy. The terrible drought in 2012 affected crops in farms, livestock that feed in them, and power plants that use water for cooling. This impact could result in personal costs up to $50 billion over the next year alone. 

Now more than ever, our infrastructure is built on an interlinked system for the production and use of energy, water and food. Water is needed for almost all forms of energy production and power generation, energy is required to treat and transport water, and both water and energy are needed to produce food. According to the U.N., in the next 15 to 20 years we need 30 percent more water, 45 percent more energy and 50 percent more food.

Some companies are already taking measures to tackle the corporate risk and opportunities related to the energy-water-food nexus:

Shell

  • built a reclaimed water facility that virtually eliminated its need to draw on local freshwater sources for the operation of a natural gas venture
  • developed a new methodology that could more accurately estimate the amount of water needed to generate energy from different sources

Chevron

  • partnered with the Cawelo Water District to provide much needed water to local farmers for agricultural use

Coca-Cola

  • implemented a series of technical and natural solutions in nearly 400 community water projects in more than 90 countries.

 

Addressing the stress nexus requires collaboration among government, business and civil society.