The World Water Week, the annual focal point for the world’s water challenges, opens up the pertinent global dialogue on recycling and safe reuse of water, particularly for development. Taking the beacon of the World Water Week, here is how Coca-Cola India drives water stewardship in a top-down and bottoms-up manner:

Solving the macro challenge of water governance by injecting the right resources that are up-to-task. In a nation like India, water management are unprecedented and to mitigate the risks the right frameworks should be in place with the custodians to drive them.

  • Coca-Cola India Department of Regional Water Studies, in collaboration with TERI University  aims to supply a dynamic stream of water entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and professionals, who will uphold the task of water governance in India. Recently the University Grants Commission has included TERI developed WASH curriculum in online courses meant for higher education institutions, a definitive step to transform the water ecosystem of India.

Empowering small landholders by building water-secure and climate resilient agricultural capacities. Owing to Indian agriculture’s overdependence on groundwater and monsoon for irrigation, the need for adopting sustainable agriculture practices that promote minimal water consumption, higher productivity yield and enhanced soil composition is critical.

  • In 2016, Coca-Cola India in partnership with International Finance Corporation (IFC), Solidaridad and DCM Shriram launched Unnati Meetha Sona, the journey to make sugarcane cultivation a sustainable practice for 48,000 farmers in Uttar Pradesh. Taking from the Sustainable Agriculture Guiding PrinciplesTM (SAGP), Unnati Meetha Sona is driving higher yields and income and also supporting environmental protection and human and workplace rights.

Taking a water plus approach to raise livelihoods for India’s neediest and most water scarce communities. Access to water is a key actualisation need for several marginalised communities in India that face severe water extinction. Keeping this in mind, interventions around water need to have a holistic impact i.e. they must go beyond and create a sustainable impact on livelihoods.

  • Our water plus efforts are being carried out by Anandana wherein we are not only creating ample water conservation structures but also raising livelihoods via skills-development, health and agricultural capacity building. Anandana’s interventions have a strong community thrust with women participating in large numbers, with the objective of raising their standard of living.

Coca-Cola India’s biggest goals moving forward is to achieve 200 per cent water recharge capacity through our replenishment projects by fostering collaboration between business, government and community – or the ‘golden triangle’.  A forward looking roadmap for Coca-Cola India is proactively stitching together all aspects that build ‘Water Positive India’: bringing more land under sustainable agriculture, involving larger communities and creating next generation custodians for sustainability.

At least two-thirds of the global population, over 4 billion people, live with severe water scarcity for at least one month every year. Water stress extends to a larger problem of diminishing food security as agriculture is the biggest user of water. Given the finite supply and the reality of recycled water, it makes both business and social sense to give back water in a better shape than it was taken in.

The Coca-Cola Company has been tirelessly working towards the long-term conservation and availability of water to both local communities and across our operations. In 2016, The Coca-Cola Company (and global bottling partners) met our 2020 commitment five years ahead of time, becoming the first Fortune 500 Company to replenish at least 100 per cent of the water used in our operations.