When water demand exceeds water supply, scarcity lures. Many parts of the world already face water scarcity on a regular or permanent basis. Even the World Economic Forum identified water crises as the number one risk for the world this year. The University of Twente (UT) researches global water scarcity and tries to shed a light on the way we humans appropriate the Earth’s finite freshwater resources. This is no easy task, since in our globalized world of today, products are internationally traded and supply chains are interwoven in many ways. So who is accountable for what amount of freshwater consumed when en where? And if a product proves freshwater unsustainable, how can this be reversed?
Taking typical Dutch cheese as an exemplary case, we want you and your team to first get yourselves acquainted with the scientific concepts of freshwater sustainability, broader sustainability issues, trade-offs, the supply chain of cheese and the actors involved. But where the UT research ends (i.e. by quantifying the problems), we ask you to think of solutions on how to make Dutch cheese freshwater sustainable. Which player (consumer, farmer, factory, other) should act and how? Drawing from your diverse backgrounds and creativity, come up with new and inspiring recommendations for those actors you think should lead the change.
University of Twente
The Netherlands, Wetskills The Netherlands 2015