Rischio idrico in aumento

WASHINGTON, DC – L’acqua non è mai stata così al centro della cronaca come negli ultimi tempi. Quest’estate l’India del Nord ha vissuto uno dei più violenti fenomeni monsonici degli ultimi ottant’anni, mietendo oltre 800 vittime e costringendone altre 100.000 ad abbandonare le proprie case. Nel contempo, l’Europa centrale affrontava la peggiore inondazione da decenni dopo che le pesanti piogge avevano provocato un ingrossamento di grandi fiumi come Elba e Danubio. Negli Stati Uniti, quasi metà Paese continua a essere flagellato dalla siccità, mentre le intense precipitazioni hanno raggiunto nuovi record nel Nordest, devastato le colture nel Sud e ora stanno inondando il Colorado.

Le aziende stanno iniziando a riprendersi dagli enormi rischi che l’acqua – sia essa in sovrabbondanza che in scarsità – può creare alle loro operazioni e al bilancio. Al World Economic Forum di Davos tenutosi quest’anno, gli esperti hanno citato il rischio idrico tra i quattro rischi principali cui devono far fronte le imprese nel ventunesimo secolo. In modo analogo, il 53% delle società censite dal Carbon Disclosure Project ha riferito che i rischi idrici stanno già provocando danni ingenti, come dimostrano i danni alle proprietà, l’impennata dei prezzi, la scarsa qualità idrica, i malfunzionamenti degli impianti e le interruzioni dei rifornimenti.

I costi stanno lievitando. Deutsche Bank Securities stima che la recente siccità americana, che ha colpito quasi due terzi dei 48 stati più a sud, porterà a una riduzione della crescita del Pil pari all’incirca a un punto percentuale. I cambiamenti climatici, la crescita demografica e altri fattori stanno spingendo al rialzo questi rischi. Il venti percento del Pil globale viene già prodotto in aree a scarsità idrica. Secondo l’International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), in assenza di una gestione idrica più sostenibile, la percentuale potrebbe salire al 45% entro il 2050, mettendo a rischio una significativa fetta di produzione economica globale.

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