Sustainable water solutions: public policy considerations
For millions of people around the world, access to water, energy, food and shelter can be critical steps to improving their standards of living and making a better lives for their families. At the same time, a growing population and increased standards of living place pressure on local water resources or related ecosystems. How will society manage these impacts for the benefit of future generations? We need sustainable solutions developed through the integration of sound science and operating practices, thoughtful planning with consideration of local water conditions, and balanced policy approaches.
As with many complex problems, deciding where to dedicate efforts and limited resources can present challenges. ExxonMobil advocates four broad, potentially high-value pathways toward achieving meaningful progress:
- Improving data – More and better watershed-scale measurements and data can inform long-term planning and create sustainable local solutions.
- Capturing benefits from interdependencies – Energy consumption and water use are often linked and investing in energy efficiency or improvements in water use can bring multiple benefits and conserve both valuable resources.
- Sustaining results through integrated approaches – Due to the relationship between food, energy and water, policymakers should take a comprehensive approach that recognizes and addresses challenging trade-offs.
- Engaging in dialogue and collaboration – Because water issues impact a wide range of stakeholders, sustainable solutions should incorporate multiple perspectives on near- and long-term water needs of local communities and ecosystems.
The oil and gas industry will continue to play a valuable role in developing sustainable water solutions. ExxonMobil is committed to working toward these solutions as we responsibly deliver energy and petrochemical products the world needs.
ExxonMobil's role in addressing the water challengeWe recognize the importance of water and our responsibility to local communities and the environment. As such, we focus our efforts on preventing adverse impacts to water resources and prudently managing the water we do use.
Water Article •
Understanding the relationship between energy and waterGlobally, agriculture is the largest user of fresh water, accounting for 70 percent of all withdrawals. Although the oil and gas industry uses far less water (industrial use represents less than 5 percent of total withdrawal), it has an important role to play in protecting the quality of water in the areas where it operates.
Water Article •