Nestle: “Human Beings Don’t Have A Right To Water”

Monday, July 14, 2014
By Paul Martin

Jo Confino
July 13, 2014

Nestlé chair Peter Brabeck is seeking a solution to the old conundrum that you can take a horse to water but you cannot force it to drink.

The 68-year-old Austrian believes water scarcity is perhaps the biggest threat facing humanity and while governments and businesses are finally waking up to this, precious little action is being taken.

Brabeck says he became a convert to the cause of water stewardship a few years ago when he was planning the food and drink giant’s 140th anniversary and wondered what the challenges might prevent it from celebrating another 140 years in business.

The “surprising” answer led him to step back from his role as chief executive to devote more time to his water crusade, and taking a lead inthe development of the Water Resources Group (WRG), which is seeking to bring governments, business and civil society together to find solutions.

Progress is nowhere near fast enough, given that global demand is expected to outstrip supply by up to 30% within the next 17 years, but Brabeck believes the most effective way to encourage the proverbial horse to drink is if it sees another quenching its thirst.

The WRG has created successful test projects in countries such as Jordan and South Africa and as a result, several other countries are queuing up to form partnerships, including Tanzania and Ethiopia.

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