Partnerships Critical to Solving Nationwide Water Issues
We have a problem. A water problem. Our sources in the United States are in real danger, and conditions are more likely to worsen before they get better. Many factors are contributing to this current reality.
California is in the midst of its fourth consecutive year of drought, and residents are now being asked to reduce their water consumption by 25 percent. Scientists are saying that it would take 11 trillion gallons of water to pull the state out of this crippling drought. Colorado has been faced with catastrophic wildfires that adversely impact its watersheds due to dramatic changes in weather patterns and precipitation.
The water that we use to wash our clothes, clean our bodies and stay hydrated is at risk. Put simply, water is a critical resource that must be saved. Our families, our communities and our businesses depend on this precious commodity. While we continue to identify and implement sustainable practices up and down our value chain, water conservation is not a task we can tackle by ourselves.
Tomorrow, on World Environment Day, as hundreds of organizations worldwide link together to drive collective action to positively impact our environment, bringing awareness and change to water challenges our communities face is not only timely but necessary.
In Los Angeles, some 4 million residents are reliant on water that is sourced 300 miles to the north, originating from the Mammoth Lakes Basin in central California’s Inyo National Forest. In this time of significant drought and water scarcity, the function and efficiency of this watershed is of the utmost importance. A partnership with CalTrout will work to improve the ecological health of the Mammoth Lakes Basin and enhance its water quality and supplies downstream. Funding will also work to shape a stream re-route of Mammoth Creek to connect properly to its natural stream source.
There are 250,000 residents in Fort Collins, Colorado, and neighboring communities who rely on the Cache la Poudre River watershed as their water source. The neighboring forests surrounding Fort Collins catch and filter the water. Thus, if the forests are harmed, so too is the water supply in this community. Partnering with The Nature Conservancy will work to improve forest conditions and make advancements that proactively minimize wildfires in the region by instituting treatment testing and informing larger-scale restoration projects in the future. Funding will also serve as means to proactively stabilize the world-class recreational activities and spectacular scenic areas that serve as the region’s identity.
For companies that require water to produce their products, supporting water conservation initiatives outside of your company’s walls reinforce efforts being made inside to preserve this precious commodity throughout the production process. For example, Anheuser-Busch’s US breweries have reduced water consumption by 47 percent in the last 10 years and by 22 percent in the last five years.
Another way to protect and conserve water is by supporting the global efforts of Water.org. Around the world, women and children spend an astonishing 140 million hours per day collecting water. This year on World Environment Day, Anheuser-Busch employees in Fort Collins, Los Angeles and across the United States will honor these water journeys and take a 15-minute “Walk for Water,” which equals a water-equivalent donation that will help support a family of five with water for five years and provide funding to Water.org, a global organization that increases water access and quality around the world.
World Environment Day is an opportune time to discuss water conservation, showcase how we’re working to reduce water use and how we identify and amplify strategic partnerships to further the cause, but it also requires constant focus and attention. We strive to make water conservation efforts prevalent in our operations on a daily basis. A resource this precious cannot be preserved nor can access be maintained (or even improved) without a concerted effort from all parties, all year long. From public and private companies to environmental organizations and to individuals in communities across the country — we all have to make the commitment to preserving and protecting our earth and its valuable resources each and every day.
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