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By Kira Heuer

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The Financial Times has published the first instalment of a series on the threat of water scarcity, Pilita Clark, FT’s environment correspondent, reveals in this staggering article the cost of mutl-national’s investments in the way they conserve, manage or obtain water. According to data from Global Water Intelligence since 2011 companies such as Coca-Cola, Nestlé and Ford have spent more than $84bn worldwide to improve water scarcity. The reasons for each investment differ. Some are driven by physical water shortages, others by new industrial processes requiring water in greater quantities or of higher quality. Other companies want to show customers they care about water conservation. Some are motivated by new environmental regulations requiring better wastewater treatment. Nearly 20 years after the World Bank began warning of a looming water crisis, the combination of a surging population, a growing global middle class and a changing climate is straining water supplies. For companies – from multinational corporations to small businesses – this amounts to higher costs for a resource that has long been taken for granted. The Financial Times has gathered data on 78 corporate water projects around the globe. Here are some of the ways those billions have been spent.

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