The Dow Chemical Company has been awarded this year’s U.S. Water Prize by the U.S. Water Alliance for its work in promoting and enabling more sustainable use and management of water by companies across the water value chain. Dow is being recognized for its leadership in developing new water management strategies, offering innovative products and technologies, and entering into effective collaboration models that make these solutions more attainable.
Research estimates that if current water use trends continue, global demand for water will exceed viable resources by 40 percent by 2030. With global water demand for manufacturing expected to increase by 400 percent by 2050, Dow contends that organizations seeking to remain in business must use this scarce resource more efficiently.
“Clean water is a crucial resource for all humanity and a driver of prosperity, and Dow is proud to leverage our technology and our talent to help us all make the most it,” said Andrew N. Liveris, Dow’s chairman and chief executive officer. “This award is just one example of how, when you make sustainability part of your business strategy – as Dow is doing with our 2025 Sustainability Goals – the value of nature can indeed drive business success.”
Water demand trends are fueling an urgency to move from a linear economy model of “take, make and dispose” of raw materials to a circular approach in which raw materials are “reduced, reused and reclaimed.” Dow Water & Process Solutions (DW&PS) is the business unit of Dow that provides sustainable liquid purification and separation solutions, and it has been a vocal proponent of a circular economy model that emphasizes the need to reduce, reuse and reclaim the world’s limited water resource, sustained by advances in science and technology.
“There is no replacement for water as a resource and Dow technologies have the ability to change our approach to water – turning it from a scarce resource into a well-managed one,” said Snehal Desai, global business director, DW&PS. “This recognition by the U.S. Water Alliance is a celebration and recognition of our customers and partners who have been collaborating with Dow, tapping our science and innovation, and enabling responsible stewardship of our water resource.”
Dow’s win was based on its success in changing the conversation about water brought to life in a variety of successful water-management initiatives across America that was implemented with diverse organizations and partners. In Colorado, Dow technology helped an oilfield operator increase the amount of produced water that can be recycled by almost 100 percent. Further west in California, energy-saving membranes from Dow enabled a water facility to reduce the energy needed to desalinate seawater by 12 percent.
Dow has also implemented an ambitious pilot program led by scientists from Dow and The Nature Conservancy at its own Freeport, Texas Operations to gain new insights about the true cost and value of water for business. Such insights will help Dow further improve water management for partners and in its own operations. As part of its sustainability goals, Dow has pledged to help deliver solutions that advance a circular economy and close water resource loops by 2025, including reducing its own freshwater intake intensity at key water stressed sites by 20 percent.
The U.S. Water Prize was created by the U.S. Water Alliance to put the spotlight on organizations with strategies that promote the value of water and the power of innovating and integrating for water sustainability.
“Winning the U.S. Water Prize is confirmation that we can deliver on our sustainability goals in a way that creates value for our customers, “ said Desai. “You don’t have to choose between doing the right thing for your business and doing the right thing for the environment. You can do both.”