Our commitment: Raise Awareness on Water Conservation and Improve Access to Water and Sanitation Across Our Value Chain
By 2017 – Continue to support two watershed improvement projects per year through 2017.
By 2018 – Implement Healthy Waterways collective action to improve watersheds and mitigate water risks at our bottled water facilities.
Water stewardship remains a critically important area of focus and core value for all of Nestlé. For Nestlé Waters North America, we need to take particular care of our spring water sources, the land around them, and the surrounding communities in a sustainable way. Along with other members of CWAC, including The Nature Conservancy (TNC), MillerCoors, Coca-Cola, the University of California, and the American River Conservancy, we are working to restore more than 10,000 acres of river and forest in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The project consists of a landscape-scale forest and watershed restoration and research effort in the headwaters of the American River, the primary drinking water source for Sacramento. The project aims to manage the forests to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire and to restore the watershed to more-natural conditions, thereby safeguarding water quality and potentially increasing water quantity.
The ultimate goals are to thin forests that are overgrown due to poor forest management, and restore habitats disrupted by logging roads. Scientists will measure the amount of water that is recharged to the watershed under baseline and restored forest conditions. The American River Headwaters Restoration Project could have significant beneficial impact not only for the forests and watersheds of the American River but also for downstream water users and hydropower generation. Proactively thinning the small trees and brush reduces wildfire risk and may also increase water yield. By restoring the forest to natural densities, we will improve the health of the watershed by decreasing demand for rainwater and allowing more water to recharge local water bodies. These benefits accrue not only to nature but also to people who rely upon a healthy watershed for clean drinking water and other purposes.
Work continues outside of California as well. In Florida, Nestlé Waters’ ZEPHYRHILLS® brand is sponsoring the Crystal Springs Foundation, a 530-acre sanctuary dedicated to environmental preservation and education. In Maine, our POLAND SPRING® brand reduced water withdrawal at some sites and rebalanced its sourcing in response to drought in that state.
Our partnerships and partner programs begin with our employees, who volunteer thousands of hours on projects such as watershed restoration, cleanup, and community outreach. We also work with community organizations such as the Waterkeeper Alliance, maintain dialogues with NGOs to address water-scarcity and water-quality issues, and work with the towns and municipalities in which we operate. Our hope is to act as a catalyst, bringing awareness, money, research, and other resources to the table.