By Susan Diegelman, AT&T and Brendan FitzSimons, Environmental Defense Fund
Across the United States, and especially throughout the South and West, drought has been a persistent problem that is more and more -becoming the new normal.
Some recent photos from America’s largest reservoir, Lake Mead, show how drought is drastically reducing water reserves. This month, its water levels sank to a record low and federal water managers predict that by next spring, the level will have dropped even further.
Now let’s make it personal. According to Circle of Blue, the price of residential water has increased 33 percent since 2010 in 30 major US cities. This is based on water scarcity issues as well as the cost of energy associated with moving more water further distances to reach residents in drought areas.
Water scarcity is a global issue driven by countless local decisions regarding its use, as well as larger environmental factors outside of our control. Because businesses and utilities must now factor the risks and costs caused by water scarcity into everyday operations, we at AT&T and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) believe these risks demand immediate attentions and action.
For any organization, large or small, a good place to start is a usage assessment with the free Water Efficiency Toolkit, cooperatively developed by AT&T and EDF. The tool kit provides a set of materials to help organizational leaders and facility managers operate cooling systems more efficiently, enabling them to save both water and related energy and chemicals.