Stakeholder Trends and Insights
Majority of Business Owners Want Clean Water Rules

Most small business owners favor federal protection of clean water and agree that clean water is necessary for a healthy economy and job creation, according to a new national poll by the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC).

Key findings from the poll include:

  • 80% of small business owners favor federal protection of upstream headwaters and wetlands as proposed in the new "Waters of the U.S." clean water rule of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • 71% of small business owners said that clean water is necessary for jobs and a healthy economy.
  • 67% of small business owners are concerned that water pollution could hurt their business in the future.
  • 62% of small business owners say that government regulation is needed to prevent water pollution.

"This national poll shows that most small business owners support exactly the same protection of clean water that the EPA has proposed in its Waters of the U.S. rule," said Richard Eidlin, Director of Policy for the ASBC. "Small business owners place a high value on clean water because they know it is vital to their businesses and they are concerned about potential damage to the economy from water pollution. They also believe that government regulation is needed to safeguard clean water."

In California, a relentless drought is forcing businesses to take action to save water. For example, Google is considering installing new technology such as urinal cakes containing enzymes that calcify urine so that toilets only have to be flushed a few times each day. This could save around 500,000 gallons of water a year. The search giant also is looking at ways to reduce water used to maintain the landscaping at its corporate campuses, including "hydrozoning" — grouping together plants with similar water needs and installing sensors to monitor irrigation use and detect leaks. Last year, the company saved 9 million gallons of water at its Mountain View, Calif. campus through water recycling.

Many scientists agree that California’s severe drought is being exacerbated by climate change. Apple, SolarCity, San Diego International Airport, Sungevity and Sapphire Energy in February joined more than 120 California-based companies in signing the Climate Declaration, a business leader call to action that urges federal and state policymakers to seize the economic opportunity of addressing climate change.


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