South Africa's current drought affects people at home, but more important to our economy is the damage to businesses that you might not expect to be affected. The Western Cape is not the only place in trouble and as a new El Niño season approaches, the effects will only worsen.
The story of the business sector and its water security is essentially the story of our urban water supply.
Businesses are sensitive to drought, especially when key components of their operations are dependent upon water at a specific quality and time. However, some of the major water-related risks that businesses face are made worse by poor functioning water supply systems. This is especially true in smaller municipalities. Although businesses (especially large businesses) have vocalised their concerns regarding water, limited active measures have been put in place to mitigate these risks.
Businesses sit at the interface of the water value chain and a particular products' supply chain. Depending on where they sit, their risks are distinct. Therefore,...