Water is essential to basic human survival. And, for The Coca-Cola Company, water is also essential to our business. After all, it’s the main ingredient in our beverages. 

That’s just one of the reasons why The Coca-Cola Company is committed to water conservation. As a company, we have a global goal to safely return to communities and nature an amount of water equal to what we use in our finished beverages and their production. That’s a fancy way of saying that we want to replenish every drop that we use from nature.

Changing the Course of the Colorado River

We’re serious about this commitment. One way we're helping restore water is through our sponsorship of Change the Course: a national freshwater restoration campaign that aims to restore flows to many dewatered tributaries and help reconnect the Colorado River to the Sea. This iconic watershed spans seven states—including Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California, New Mexico, and Wyoming—and Mexico. And it provides water to more than 35 million people as well as to energy production, agriculture, industry, and thirsty urban areas. Unfortunately, it is so over depleted that it now runs dry about 90 miles from the Sea. In fact, in 2013 it was named our nation’s most endangered river.

Before the Colorado stopped short of reaching the sea in the 1990s, the River was 1,450 miles long. So, we are now challenging Coca-Cola associates and you to help us restore another 1.45 million gallons to the Colorado – a pledge for every mile!  When you make the free pledge to conserve water at http://bit.ly/1e5pJKR, 1,000 gallons will be restored to projects throughout the Colorado River Basin thanks to the support of companies like Coca-Cola. You pledge and 1,000 gallons are restored—it's that simple. To date, Change the Course has resulted in more than 40,000 pledges to conserve from all 50 U.S. states and 113 countries/territories worldwide.

Wondering how your pledge can restore a river? Check out the story to the right  talking about just one the five projects launched to date.  Together, these projects—Yampa River, Verde River, Colorado River Delta, Fraser River and the Roaring Fork River—have successfully restored almost 1 billion gallons of water.

See your pledge at work! One of the first innovative projects launched by Change the Course, thanks to the commitment of Coca-Cola, helped restore water to dry sections of the Verde River—one of the tributaries that feeds into the Colorado River. With Coca-Cola’s financial support, and lots of collaboration from area residents, farmers and irrigators, farmers received modernized irrigation technology that allows them to better manage their water and restore flow to the river while meeting their irrigation needs. Read more in Jon’s blog post by clicking here.

And learn more about water conservation from Sandra Postel, National Geographic Society Freshwater Fellow and Co-Creator of Change the Course, by clicking here.

Jon Radtke is Water Resource Sustainability Manager for Coca-Cola North America.