14 Oct
Getting Real In California Nelson Switzer

Sustainable Water Management – Action Goes Local

I’ve been reading and talking a lot lately about the idea of tackling climate change by “thinking globally and acting locally.” It’s not a novel concept; in fact, it’s becoming the mantra in everything from politics to marketing to social causes. We live in a global market: an interconnected, interdependent world where everything that happens has the potential to affect something on the other side of the planet.

This is particularly true for our stewardship of water resources. Small changes and steps in one region, one city or even one neighborhood can spark a lightbulb moment for another community looking to do their part. Some initiatives can be replicated either very nearby or in vastly different regions. That’s why we must keep pushing, pulling and calling for action, no matter how small, to protect and secure our resources for the future.

A great example of acting locally is happening right now in California. It started back in 2014, at a Water Action Hub meeting. Several major food and beverage companies and environmental organizations got together and decided to form a casual working group to better understand California’s water challenges and collaborate on improving water security. The group, called the California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC), evolved into a formal coalition of 22 organizations including Anheuser-Busch, Campbell Soup Company, The Coca-Cola Company, Ecolab, General Mills, MillerCoors, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund and our company, Nestlé. CWAC members picked four freshwater stewardship projects to start – all local, all measurable, all attainable. Nestlé is heavily involved in one, American River Headwaters, designed to create a living laboratory for scientists to test how landscape-scale restoration can improve watershed health and wildlife habitat, reduce megafire risk and potentially increase water supply.

CWAC also committed to drive corporate stewardship aligned with the California Water Action Plan, Governor Jerry Brown’s five-year roadmap toward sustainable water management. We help members find new and creative ways to work together and take actions that benefit us all. Nestlé is proud to be part of this model for collective action that has the potential to be replicated in other regions.

We know that while no one company or organization can solve California’s water challenges, together we can achieve something remarkable – sharing key practices, testing different water saving ideas, and creating shareable, replicable solutions to water stewardship issues. By making a commitment to secure the long-term health and viability of our water resources and forests, and acting together, we can protect California’s water future. 

Let’s make water our purpose – NELSON –

Nelson Switzer is Chief Sustainability Officer for Nestle Waters North America. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Nestlé Waters North America Announcement:

Nestlé Announces Collaboration with Environmental Leaders, Fortune 500 Companies to Invest in California’s Water Future

California Water Action Collaborative Press Release:

Environmental Leaders, Fortune 500 Companies Announce Collaborative Investments to Protect California’s Water Future

By: Nelson Switzer