Embargoed until 21 June 2015, 05.00am
Water presents high risk to agribusiness
Whether it’s growing crops, generating electricity or entertaining tourists, water is a key ingredient for the success
of the New Zealand economy, yet this also makes it a key risk.
PwC’s latest publication, Preserving water through collaboration that works, considers how New Zealand within a global context, has responded to water risks and the potential to improve water
management in the future. New Zealand faces its own risks which differ from those in other parts of the world, and these
risks, are increasing.
PwC Director and Local Government expert David Walker says, “A usable supply of water is fundamental to the New Zealand
economy and permeates across all industries – and notably farming, forestry, electricity generation and public sectors.
However continued effective water management is becoming more complex and costly. Identifying and managing the potential
material risks both in direct operations and in the supply chain - for example, pollution, flooding, irregular or
reduced supply, governance, regulation and reputational issues, is an important step to managing the bottom line and
avoiding sudden costs.”
Whether it’s used to cool, heat and/or clean as well as an ingredient, water is also a critical factor in the supply
chain; it can cause disruption in storage, damaging stock and imposing detrimental impacts on distribution. Even
Financial Services is touched by water, investing in and insuring a business with an unknown or unquantified exposure to
There are steps being taken by the public sector to address our country’s water needs with local government working on
1,160 water-related infrastructure projects valued at $16.07 billion, planned or already in progress through to 2025.
“Public funding is only one piece of the puzzle though. While New Zealand is in a relatively fortunate position compared
to many countries with a very high amount of water use per capita (only the US and Chile use more) and relative
abundance of freshwater coupled with a small population, we cannot afford to become complacent. There’s still much to be
done to improve water management through collaboration and the Land and Water Forum initiative,” concludes Mr Walker.
– ends –
Notes to editors
For more information, please see the PwC report - Preserving water through collaboration that works available at: www.pwc.co.nz/water
For further information on the Land and Water Forum Initiative – please seewww.landandwater.org.nz
At the current pace, global demand for water will increase by 55% by 2050, projects the Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD) and will mainly come from manufacturing (+400%), electricity (+140%) and domestic use
(+130%). In fact, the World Bank has cited a 40% global shortfall between forecast demand and available supply of water
by 2030. Add in competition from agriculture to feed growing populations, and the gap between supply and demand results
in very challenging consequences.
This means that water has moved to the top of the global business risk agenda - according to the World Economic Forum’s
Global Risks Report 2015 - and is a major concern for society as a whole. With agribusiness sharing water with
communities, industry and other users, securing the right quality and quantity of water at the right time is set to
become a serious production and reputational issue.