Last week at the Stockholm International Water Institute’s annual World Water Week, PepsiCo unveiled a new data management and modeling tool that estimates the availability of freshwater use in water-scarce regions throughout Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).
Developed in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Hydro-BID is an open-source modeling tool that can forecast water availability and supply in the LAC region under any climate, population and land use scenario. To date, the tool has projected water supplies in Brazil, Peru, Haiti and Argentina, and is expected to impact more than three million people across the LAC region by 2017.
PepsiCo Foundation’s $5 Million grant to IDB’s Aquafund is contributing to fund pilot projects, in partnership with the governments of Switzerland and Austria, in five countries and will reach approximately 500,000 beneficiaries by the end of 2015. While some projects are intended to improve access to safe water and sanitation services for scattered communities in extreme poverty, other projects such as Hydro-BID present an effort to develop a suite of watershed modeling tools that could be applied worldwide.
In addition to aiding countries with water budgeting and water-resource planning, Hydro-BID helps policymakers and communities prepare for floods and droughts.
As a global food and beverage company dependent on water-intensive agricultural activities, PepsiCo says it seeks to drive water efficiency in its operations and throughout its supply chain, as part of the company’s public commitment to help protect and conserve global water supplies. Water stewardship is a key component of PepsiCo’s approach to sustainable business development — what it calls “Performance with Purpose”.
The 24th annual World Water Week focused on the theme of "Energy and Water, and finding solutions to challenges in optimizing these resources while acknowledging their interdependency. The U.S. Water Partnership announced the launch of a new platform, H2infO, that offers simple online access to a wealth of U.S.-generated water data and knowledge. H2infO was created to fill a gap in knowledge management identified by the international water community. The Partnership says by the end of 2014, more than 10,000 water resources from leading U.S.-based institutions will be centrally accessible through the expanding tool.