WIT Press

Does Global Change Matter? The Case Of Industries In The Upper Danube Catchment Area


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M. Egerer & M. Zimmer


The focus of this paper lies in a fundamental discussion on sustainable water-use in industrial production processes in humid developed regions. Representative for such a region, it is based on the industries in the Upper Danube catchment area. It seeks to point out water-related problems the companies in the catchment area are currently faced with and potential difficulties that could occur in the future, with a special focus on global change. Furthermore, we point out how companies try to cope with these problems. The necessary information was collected in a three-stage process. This process included firstly a questionnaire campaign. About 1,000 questionnaires were sent to relevant companies; about 160 replied. In the second stage telephone interviews were made with companies’ representatives who had indicated their willingness to be interviewed in the questionnaire. Thirdly we visited eight companies personally. The main results of this process are presented in this paper. Keywords: industrial water use, global change, water shortage, case study. 1 Introduction A human being can easily reach its natural lifespan without oil but can only survive a few days without water. Water is the most important natural resource which is both restrictable in access and indispensable to sustain social, economic and ecological human needs. The functioning of material cycles strongly depends on a sustainable usage of the water resources. Efficiency implies that social, ecological and economic functions compete with each other and have to


industrial water use, global change, water shortage, case study.