Adding business value with robust water management

Water is becoming a more and more scarce resource, and this represents an increasing risk to companies’ production and license to operate.

Many companies consider water costs to be very low, as most of these businesses only consider the bill they receive for the provision of fresh water. Investments in specific water resilience projects are often not supported or postponed. On top of that, businesses must combine a global, corporate approach with a local approach to address the geographical diversity of restrictions on water.

A shift is needed to circular water management as a basis for resilient water stewardship. Those companies thinking about managing their water sources and actively seeking cooperation with other water users in their water basin ensure a more stable operational climate. Supporting not only the production but also building a positive image of the company to their clients.

The current business risks are no longer managed in boardrooms but require a strong interaction with the company’s surroundings. Stakeholder management, value chain awareness and circular resource management are building blocks that supports this and bring added value to modern businesses.

Our approach for resilient water stewardship

Arcadis will give examples at the Amsterdam Water Week of companies who have started working on a more robust water management approach. Anticipating climate change, making their sites more resilient, assessing the essence of water for their (local) operations and assessing their water investments on the true value of water. This will help in growing awareness about water as a key theme for companies’ operations.

One example we will share with our Amsterdam International Water Week Roundtable attendees will be the case of Suiker Unie (Sugar Union) at Dinteloord, in the Netherlands, which is situated in an area where nature is vulnerable, and the local river water quality is preserved by strict abstraction and discharge limitations. Suiker Unie produces sugar out of sugar beets. The companies’ vision is to add value to every part of the sugar beet. To support this a business area of companies using the remaining streams from the sugar production has been created. However, the strict regulatory and social limits made this development not profitable. Suiker Unie together with a greenhouse area developer have solved this problem by introducing a ‘water roundabout’ where treated water and excessive rainfall is distributed to water users or stored in underground aquafers for later use. Due to this system no surface water is needed, limited water is discharged, and dry periods are no threat to production and growth.

To learn more about Arcadis’ work to increase industry resilience, join us as we share our experience and our approach at the Amsterdam International Water Week, 4 – 8 November, where we are leading the Integrated Leaders Forum Industries round table. We will facilitate a deep dive into the following subjects: Bringing circular water management outside the fences, True value of water, Resilient water stewardship. The result of these deep dives will be shared in a plenary feed-back with Q&A.

Toon Boonekamp

Senior Consultant Water Technology & Energy +31 (0)6 1134 8372 Ask me a question
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