Whilst the December snowfalls have taken their toll on the UK’s ability to deliver Christmas goodies, the impact of the thaw is creating further disruption for many companies. The water shortage in Northern Ireland is continuing to affect a huge number of home owners, but how are businesses coping across the area?

For manufacturing sectors such as food, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, water can be a critical dependency in many ways:

  • As an essential ingredient.  Take a well-known producer of soups in Ireland. Only a year ago, Batchelors faced a shut down as a result of burst pipes and the resulting drain on reservoirs.
  • Sanitation of processes and personnel. If work conditions become insanitary the workforce has to go home, vessels cannot be cleaned to required standards.

Perhaps your next supply chain risk assessment, should give some thought to the following:

  • How reliant is your business on the robustness of your local water supply?
  • What would the cost of a prolonged water shortage be to your business?
  • Does that justify further investigations into alternative emergency supply options?

It isn’t simply a winter problem. Water rationing in dry spells has the potential to cause disruptions that could go on for even longer.