Some businesses depend on water more than others. Two business sectors we work with frequently, ski areas and breweries, are especially vulnerable to water supply and quality issues. This past winter, many ski areas struggled to open terrain and maintain coverage with lackluster snowfall. Many were forced to increase snowmaking and dependence on their water supplies.

As snowpack melted rapidly in spring, supply problems flowed downstream, contributing to intense summer drought. In early August, the U.S. Drought Monitor map showed over 52 percent of the U.S. in a moderate drought or worse. Drought, summer heat, and insect infestations brought significant wildfires to the west, including the large High Park Fire west of Fort Collins, Colorado that destroyed many homes and threatens our water supply with soil erosion. New Belgium Brewing, brewer of Fat Tire and one of many local breweries, is closely monitoring the water quality on which their very business depends.

Almost all businesses use water in their products, for irrigation, for cooling, or at least providing domestic water in bathrooms and kitchens. In their sustainability efforts water – both supply and quality – is often overlooked by many businesses today. Yet water will be the next major front of the sustainability effort and one that businesses should not ignore.

Similar to energy and greenhouse gases, businesses that pay attention to water will find competitive advantage in reducing costs and managing risk. This includes not only identifying opportunities for water use efficiency, but also developing a water footprint and planning for long-term reductions water dependence. Read more about our water services and how we can help you.