PepsiCo Beverages North America has announced a $1.5 million grant for the Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD), one of the largest groundwater agencies in the state of California.
The grant will help manage and protect local groundwater resources that support more than four million residents.
The partnership will improve drought resiliency and pilot WRD's first inland injection well for the utilisation of in-ground storage.
When complete, the project will store an average of 325,851 gallons of water per year for municipal and indirect use, drought resiliency, and mitigation.
Johannes Evenblij, president of West Division at PepsiCo Beverages North America, said, "Partnering with the Water Replenishment District of Southern California will not only help enable long-term, sustainable water security for local communities who depend on an accessible and reliable supply of clean, safe water, but it will also be critical in the advancement our pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) Net Water Positive ambition to reduce absolute water use and replenish back into the local watershed more than 100% of the water we use. As a food and beverage company, we're acutely aware of the critical role water plays in the southern California ecosystem, and our community."
"The Water Replenishment District is proud to be the first public agency to receive a water sustainability grant from PepsiCo," added Water Replenishment District board president John DS Allen.
"This grant will help build our region's drought resilience for years to come. The WRD Board of Directors commend and applaud PepsiCo for their commitment to protecting our watershed."
PepsiCo is focused on improving water-use efficiency, local replenishment in water-scarce areas, public education, advocacy for smart water policies, and adoption of best practices with community partners.
Examples of sustainable PepsiCo partnerships include the Arbor Day Foundation, which replanted two million trees in the burn scars of the Carr and Camp Fire wildfires that devastated Northern California in 2018.
Elsewhere, the group is part of the California Water Action Collaborative, a coalition of industry, nonprofit, and governmental organisations investing in efforts throughout California that yield a positive return for water quality and quantity.
The drinks giant also collaborates with The Nature Conservancy as part of the Salt and Verde Alliance, a partnership that brings together companies, farmers, communities, and other organisations to help protect the Salt and Verde watersheds of the arid western United States.