No natural resource is more precious. None is shrinking faster as people consume more and more.
Our Common Waters, Patagonia’s current campaign, is about balancing human water use with the needs of animals and plants. The more water people use, the less there is for everything else. The more water we waste, the more habitat we destroy. The more we pollute our streams and lakes, the harder it is for animals and plants to survive.
In this campaign, we connect water use, the consumer society and threats to biodiversity. The phrase “water rights” carries a larger meaning in this campaign than our usual use of it: Who and what has the right to water?
Existing threats range from increased human water use and water stress to pollution to dams. Each of these is made worse by climate change, which is already altering temperature and river flows. Almost half the animals on the U.S. threatened and endangered list call freshwater home.
An essential part of this campaign is Patagonia’s story as a company: the water cost of doing business, reducing our water footprint and reporting on our water use.
At Patagonia we’re only beginning to learn just how much water we consume – or how much water is used in our name.
As individuals we have to remember that much of the water used in our name doesn’t come out of the tap but rather as our share of the sum of industrial production and consumption. So it’s important for us all to keep an eye on what business does to increase – or meet – the challenges posed by water scarcity and pollution.