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Uncharted Territory

自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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World without water

 


水問題は知られた問題ですが、具体的にどのような問題が起きているのか把握できていません。Newshourの番組はそんなことを気付かせてもらいました。企業活動において水関連での投資状況から、水問題を考えているFinancial Timesの記事は網羅的でとても参考になります。動画で基本的な問題は取り上げていますが、より詳しい各企業の取り組みを記事では知ることができます。

A world without water
In the first instalment of a series on the threat of water scarcity, Pilita Clark reveals the cost to companies
JULY 14, 2014 7:25 PM

Coke’s nearly $2bn in investments may sound big but in fact they are a small example of how much companies are starting to spend on water worldwide. Nearly 20 years after the World Bank began warning of a looming water crisis, the combination of a surging population, a growing global middle class and a changing climate is straining water supplies. For companies – from multinational corporations to small businesses – this amounts to higher costs for a resource that has long been taken for granted.

“The marginal cost of water is rising around the world,” says Christopher Gasson, publisher of Global Water Intelligence. “Previously, water was treated as a free raw material. Now, companies are realising it can damage their brand, their credibility, their credit rating and their insurance costs. That applies to a computer chipmaker and a food company as much as a power generator or a petrochemicals company.”
Examples of these costs abound:

● Nestlé, one of the world’s biggest food companies, set aside SFr38m ($43m) for water-saving and wastewater treatment facilities at its plants last year.

● In Australia a subsidiary of BG Group, the British oil and gas company, has launched a A$1bn ($938.7m) water monitoring and management system that will pipe treated water from its gasfields to boost water supplies for farmers and towns.

地球温暖化問題ほどの注目を集めていませんが、より緊急の問題として捉えているところもあるようです。ただグローバルな問題となりえないのは、水問題が各地域に局地的に起きているからのようです。

Water scarcity is a far more pressing problem than climate change, he says, but receives much less political attention than it should. “We have a water crisis because we make wrong water-management decisions,” he says. “Climate change will further affect the water situation but even if the climate wouldn’t change, we have a water problem and this water problem is much more urgent.”

One reason water receives less attention is that, unlike global warming, there is no such thing as a global water crisis. Instead, there are a series of regional predicaments in a world where the distribution of fresh water is so lopsided that 60 per cent of it is found in just nine countries, including Brazil, the US and Canada, according to the UN.

NestleやCoca Colaの水確保の取り組みが紹介されていますが、消費者向け商品を扱っている以上、reputationが傷つくといけないというのも興味深いです。

Such a move makes good business sense for a company such as Nestlé. Its coffee, cereals and milk products sit on breakfast tables worldwide, meaning it has a global reputation to protect. It is also the 49th-biggest industrial consumer of water in the world, according to Global Water Intelligence.

That makes it far more vulnerable to customer boycotts than the biggest water consumer, China Guodian, a power generator, which has captive customers and is barely known outside its own country.

英語学習的にはthe big elephant in the roomとGoogleの責任者が水問題を形容していたのは面白かったです。

Joe Kava, the company’s head of data centre operations, has warned that water is “the big elephant in the room” for tech companies, which can typically use hundreds of thousands of gallons of water a day. “We’ve been focusing on power consumption and energy efficiency and that’s excellent,” he said in 2009. “I think the next thing we need to turn our attention to is what do we do about the looming water crisis?” As water becomes more scarce, data companies’ use of it could attract public scrutiny, he added, possibly resulting in regulations governing how much water they consume.

Google told the FT last week that its focus on water conservation means it now has a facility in Finland cooled entirely by seawater. It is also looking at using captured rainwater in South Carolina.

ウィズダムには「誰もが知っていながら口をつぐむこと」とありました。

(オックスフォード)
the elephant in the room
a problem or question that everyone knows about but does not mention because it is easier not to discuss it
The elephant in the room was the money that had to be paid in bribes.
There's a big elephant in the room and it's gun control.

FTのこの記事は4000語に及ぶ長めのものですが、英検や国連英検の受験を考えている人にはオススメです。


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