Augmentation des risques liés à l’eau

WASHINGTON – L’eau se retrouve souvent en première page des journaux ces derniers temps. Cet été, le nord de l’Inde a connu une de ses pires moussons depuis 80 ans, faisant 800 morts et 100 000 évacués. Dans le même temps, l’Europe centrale a été confrontée aux pires inondations depuis des décennies après que de lourdes pluies aient fait déborder les principaux cours d’eau comme l’Elbe et le Danube. Aux Etats-Unis, près de la moitié du pays subit la sécheresse, tandis que des pluies record se sont abattues sur le nord-est, des pluies qui ont aussi dévasté les récoltes dans le sud, et inondent maintenant le Colorado.

Les entreprises commencent à s’intéresser aux risques croissants que l’eau – soit par sa surabondance, soit par sa rareté – peut poser à leur exploitation et à leur rentabilité. Lors du dernier forum économique mondial de Davos, les experts ont classé les risques liés à l’eau comme l’un des quatre principaux risques pour les entreprises au XXIème siècle. De même, 53% des entreprises évaluées par le Carbon Disclosure Project ont déclaré que les risques liés à l’eau comptent déjà leurs victimes si l’on en juge par les dégâts matériels, la hausse de prix, la mauvaise qualité de l’eau, les interruptions de l’activité économique et des chaines d’approvisionnement.

Et les coûts ne cessent d’augmenter. La Deutsche Bank Securities estime que la récente sécheresse aux Etats-Unis, qui a frappé près des deux-tiers des 48 états contigus du pays, entrainera une baisse de la croissance de leur PIB d’un point. Le changement climatique, la croissance démographique, entre autres facteurs, accentuent ces risques. Vingt pour cent du PIB global est d’ores et déjà produit dans des zones pauvres en eau. Selon l’Institut international de recherche sur les politiques alimentaires (IFPRI), en l’absence d’une gestion plus durable de l’eau, ce chiffre pourrait atteindre 45% en 2050, menaçant ainsi une part substantielle de la production économique globale.

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