Improving Water Security and Stewardship
As the global population grows, living standards rise, and climate change impacts increase, access to freshwater resources becomes an increasing challenge and critical priority. To help ensure that watersheds can meet the needs of nature and people, TNC is working with diverse stakeholders, including Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), to improve watershed stewardship around the world. Our goal is to help companies embed water stewardship into their facility operations and supply chains to ensure more reliable water supplies for all.
AB InBev is the world’s leading brewer, with over 170,000 employees based in nearly 50 countries worldwide and more than 500 beer brands that are sold in more than 150 countries. The company has launched its 2025 Sustainability Goals including a goal on Water Stewardship: “100% of communities in AB InBev’s high stress areas will have measurably improved water availability and quality.”
Globally, TNC and AB InBev have partnered to:
- Develop a measurement framework and guide to evaluate the impact of our efforts in high risk sites around the world;
- Ensure new and existing water stewardship projects, like water funds in Latin America, increase in scale and improve in efficiency while sharing best practices across different regions;
- Implement trainings to build water stewardship knowledge and capacity across AB InBev, globally; and
- Report on the impact of investments in watershed protection.
One of TNC’s aims is to lead the creation of 100 water funds across the globe by 2022. AB InBev is supporting this by investing in a pilot program to scale of the creation of water funds in Latin America. This ‘accelerator’ model is being tested in in Zacatecas, Mexico; Mendoza, Argentina; San Salvador, El Salvador; and Bucaramanga, Colombia. The model aims to (1) increase source water protection through nature-based solutions, and (2) build and strengthen the conservation capacity of local and national organizations. TNC’s role is to select partner organizations to complete the early phases of water fund development and provide financial support, coaching, and training to help them succeed.
With Anheuser-Busch in North America, TNC is working to increase the quantity and improve the quality of water available to nurture natural ecosystems and communities in the western United States. To help create a more secure future for freshwater in Fort Collins, Colorado and Los Angeles, California, the Anheuser-Busch Foundation is investing in TNC’s conservation work on the rivers that keep these cities running: The Cache la Poudre, Big Thompson, Los Angeles, and Colorado Rivers. These rivers are just four in a large network of western rivers, fed by snowmelt and groundwater, sustaining growing cities, towns, farms, ranches, businesses, and ecosystems.
Specifically, in the U.S., we are:
- Strategically managing forests near Fort Collins to reduce the risk of damaging wildfires, which threaten water security, water quality, wildlife habitat, and local communities.
- Piloting a project in Los Angeles to demonstrate the value of green infrastructure and natural habitat to replenish local groundwater after it rains and improve the quality of stormwater runoff.
- Restoring natural flows to the Colorado River Basin by decreasing consumption, establishing water markets, and changing management and design of water infrastructure, so rivers and aquifers can support the needs of people and native wildlife.
Around the world, TNC’s collaboration with AB InBev and the Anheuser-Busch Foundation is improving stewardship of vital freshwater sources for the communities and ecosystems that depend on them.