It almost goes without saying that clean water is a basic human need. It's essential for virtually every aspect of human health, wellbeing and prosperity, from drinking, hygiene, and health to growing food and producing goods.
But while it is obvious to everyone that water is crucial to life, less appreciated is its importance to business. All companies rely on plentiful, high-quality water to varying degrees, yet too often it is taken for granted, even though for the past eight years a water crisis has been cited as one of the five biggest risks in the World Economic Forum's influential Global Risks Report.
It's a crisis that's not just reserved for the future. We are already seeing water risks play out on the world stage, from devastating floods in India to multi-year droughts in California. Serious pollution events are another major threat, from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2014 to lead contamination in Flint, Michigan and horrific recent accidents at mines in Brazil.