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Water Scarcity Solutions

Organized by: Water Scarcity

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THE STORY:

Water scarcity already affects every continent. Around 1.2 billion people, or almost one-fifth of the world's population, live in areas of physical scarcity, and 500 million people are approaching this situation. Another 1.6 billion people, or almost one quarter of the world's population, face economic water shortage (where countries lack the necessary infrastructure to take water from rivers and aquifers). Water scarcity is connected to a number of external factors, including population growth, climate variability, and the condition of water infrastructure. As populations grow, so does the pressure on water, and we are seeing water stress in some of our operating states including high-growth areas of the southwest. The climate-water nexus presents complex challenges. The effects of global warming can be seen in glacial shrinkage, rising sea levels and increased flooding and runoff, all affecting the planet’s water supplies. We also face more frequent severe weather such as major storms, which threaten water systems and infrastructure. The condition of water infrastructure is also a significant factor. Every day in the U.S., 17 billion gallons are lost due to leaking pipes (16 percent of total daily water production). American Water’s vision is: “to be the trusted steward of your precious resource – water”, and we’re committed to water efficiency in our operations, helping our customers conserve water, working closely with stakeholders at watershed level, and taking a leadership role in public policy discussions that influence long-term capability and provision. Actions and Commitments -We work with state utility commissions to encourage water conservation and efficiency through a tiered-rate structure in water-stressed states. -Our objective is to achieve savings on indoor residential water consumption in the range of 10 to 17 percent over the next 5 years. -Understanding the true value of water is key to conserving water. We’ve joined with others in the industry to form the Value of Water Coalition, which aims to educate the public on the importance of clean, safe, and reliable water.

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