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Globally, water scarcities and seasonal flooding are local water challenges that can present a major issue that severely affects communities.
So we at Nestlé Waters set to work at a local level, in places like riverside towns in the U.K. as well as farmlands in Pakistan. Helping to manage shared water challenges such as minimizing flood risks and tackling water scarcity, wherever we can.
For us to help contribute to the retention and regeneration of water across the world, we have to work on a project by project basis. Each location bears its own challenges, and risks, but also solutions. So, we partner with experts, who have the relevant local knowledge to try and address these specific cases.
Buxton: Helping prevent flooding
Buxton, U.K. is a famous British spa town, known for its natural mineral water. It's also prone to flooding, mostly due to weather and the natural geography of the area. The town is surrounded by steep hills with streams that can lead to overflowing during intense and prolonged periods of rain. The landscape and lack of areas for water to gather or be absorbed means that fast flowing water flows directly to the river. The result is often burst riverbanks in the centre of town, which affects the lives of everyone living and working in the area.
To help solve this issue, we’ve partnered with local stakeholders to come up with practical, natural interventions to help prevent further flooding. All the options are intended to work together with nature. Our aim is to help retain more water in the landscape so that it doesn’t rush into the river too rapidly during rainy periods and cause flooding. All our approaches are natural interventions with a focus on regeneration, aiming to also increase biodiversity and carbon capture across the area.
Pakistan: changing irrigation methods
Elsewhere, in Pakistan, we identified another water management issue. Across the region, farmers are using flood irrigation to water their fields. So, we partnered with the government to support local farmers on more sustainable practices that focus on regenerative agriculture.
By supporting farmers to switch to different irrigation methods, they were able to reduce their water usage by over 60%. This was achieved using new techniques, whilst still supporting farmers' vital crops. Activated across 10,000 hectares of land, we worked with farmers to switch from flood irrigation techniques to furrow, as well as drip irrigation for rice and corn. This led to huge water savings estimated at 20 million cubic meters of water per year. That's the equivalent of 120 billion glasses of water.
These are just a few of the projects we're working on to help create a positive water impact, everywhere we operate by 2025.