PepsiCo Beverages North America (PBNA) and Frito-Lay North America (FLNA) announced a commitment of $3.3 million in funds toward water replenishment projects across North America. These projects aim to advance Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo’s effort to become Net Water Positive by 2030, which includes reducing absolute water use and replenishing back into the local watershed more than 100% of the water used at company-owned and third-party sites in high water-risk areas.
PepsiCo’s industry-leading efforts are being recognized with the 2023 Industrial Water Reuse Champions Award by WateReuse Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Veolia, and the University of Pennsylvania Water Center for best-in-class water recycling and reuse programs inside and outside its plants. The award is recognition of PepsiCo’s progress to achieve its ambitious water sustainability goals, including best-in-class water-use efficiency in 100% of PepsiCo and third-party high water-risk manufacturing sites by 2030, and world-class water-use efficiency in all other manufacturing sites by 2030, the company says.
PepsiCo’s investments to catalyze replenishment and drive progress toward becoming Net Water Positive by 2030 include the following:
- PBNA’s $2.1 million catalytic investment in the city of Winter Haven, Fla., to support wetlands restoration that is designed to enable the local aquifer to recharge an average of 400,000 gallons a day by 2025.
- Fully funding a $1.2 million project to provide critical freshwater to valuable ecosystems and wildlife in Galveston Bay, a vital estuary located on the coast of southeast Texas. This project aims to provide an additional 2,000 acre-feet per year of water, starting this spring, for 10 consecutive years.
In Winter Haven, PBNA’s catalytic investment is designed to enable the city to complete an interconnected wetland system that restores historical wetland areas called the Sapphire Necklace, the signature project of Winter Haven’s One Water Master Plan. The $2.1 million in funding makes it possible to begin the construction of an aquifer storage and recovery well system to support groundwater and wetland restorations. These wetlands are designed to store excess stormwater during rain events, while storing highly treated reuse water during drought conditions. The time spent “stored” in the wetlands allows the water to recharge into the underlying Floridan Aquifer. Project construction is expected to begin in June with completion expected by June 2025.
“The City of Winter Haven, Florida, has been a leader in integrated water management practices for over 20 years. This partnership between PepsiCo and Winter Haven is an opportunity to showcase how public private partnerships can lead to community and environmental benefits for current and future generations,” said Gary Hubbard, director of Winter Haven Water, in a statement.
In Galveston, Texas, PepsiCo’s $1.2 million investment is part of the company’s North American Water Replenishment program, bringing together the expertise of PBNA and FLNA to scale investment and impact of water replenishment projects where facilities are co-located in water scarce areas. In partnership with Texas Water Trade, a nonprofit organization founded to build a future of clean, flowing water for all Texans, the purchased water will support migratory bird habitats near Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, one of North America’s most diverse birding spots, and a pulse of fresh water into Galveston Bay, providing a haven for blue crabs, shrimp and Rangia clams. This project expects to provide an additional 2,000 acre-feet of water a year for 10 consecutive years that, without this investment, would not otherwise be available for environmental benefit, the company says.
“We are thankful to PepsiCo Beverages and Frito-Lay for their investment in our Texas Flows Fund, providing critical fresh water to valuable ecosystems and wildlife in Galveston Bay,” said Sharlene Leurig, CEO of Texas Water Trade, in a statement. “Ultimately, through this partnership, the improved habitats will bring an increase in wildlife biodiversity and enhance the opportunities for hunting, birdwatching, and fishing to important areas of the Texas coast.”
These latest announcements build on PepsiCo’s ambitions of water replenishment and water use efficiency across North America adding to projects previously reported on which have helped to replace infrastructure and eliminate loss of water supply in the Guadalupe River and San Antonio River basins, supported water replenishment projects in the Colorado River Basin and supported a partnership with Water Replenishment District of Southern California to help protect the state’s most used basins, it adds.