Companies are pledging to become ‘water positive’ - but what does that mean and how do they get there?

In recent years, corporations have faced increasing scrutiny over their water consumption, particularly in regions which are already water stressed.

In 2021, Pepsi Co. announced its plan to become water positive by 2030. A water positive business is one that puts back more water than it extracts from freshwater sources. Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Heineken, Levi Strauss and BP all followed suit with similar plans.

Why now? There are two main drivers.

The first is that increasingly companies are seeing the economic advantages of adopting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies. These are proven to positively impact equity returns. Research shows that 76% of consumers will stop buying from companies that don’t treat the environment, their employees or their community well.

The second driver is the realization that water scarcity is no longer only affecting individuals in disadvantaged communities. The imminent threat to the business economy is becoming increasingly real. Scarcity and increasingly difficult to obtain and maintain water licenses are raising prices and increasing the level of regulation and competition for access to water.

In short, companies are starting to understand the true value of water.

C-EDR for water recovery and regeneration

Technologies like ours have a role to play in supporting businesses to become water positive, water neutral or even just less water intensive.

We are currently working with one of the largest energy suppliers in the US, in partnership with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), on a project that has the potential to dramatically reduce their water consumption and increase their freshwater regeneration.

When compared to their incumbent reverse osmosis systems, our C-EDR technology can achieve a significantly higher recovery, using 40X less energy.

Our C-EDR technology can be applied to any number of industries which have ionized feed waters in any of their industrial processes. Our systems require minimal maintenance and work seamlessly with, or in place of, incumbent reverse osmosis systems to generate freshwater from a variety of sources including brine, brackish or salty wastewaters.

If you are a business looking for ways to reduce your water footprint, better desalination might be a good place to start.

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