Water is one of the most essential resources on our planet, serving multiple roles and millions of people at once. A few of water’s better-known services include providing millions with drinking water, ensuring food security and playing a vital function in the health and sanitation sectors. Beyond these direct connections, water also maintains a critical and complex relationship with biodiversity—an essential component of Earth’s ecosystems.
Countless environments rely on the presence of water to remain stable and healthy—and water, in turn, relies on these environments to maintain its own functions and patterns. When access to the resource is altered or diminished, not only are various species and their habitats at greater risk, but the water supply itself faces further threat through droughts, polluted waterways, soil erosion and decreased water quality. The result is a strained environment unable to sustain local habitats and a shrinking water supply—critical for all populations and an urgent issue for the human population, considering less than 1% of the global water supply is actually available for human use.
Ensuring water remains available to all that rely on it requires close monitoring and nourishing of local watersheds. To this end, we continue to monitor and assess local watershed health in the regions in which we operate—a practice that has helped us identify key water targets and learn where and how we can positively impact local water supply. The Resource Efficiency pillar of our Twentyby30 sustainability program aims to accelerate this area of focus, working toward water replenishment goals alongside relevant objectives such as reduced water usage, compliance with local wastewater standards and employee access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.