Partnering in Watershed Management and Community Engagement
A Fortune 100 food and beverage company requested our ecological expertise and support for its watershed management program and its pledge to replenish water used in production of its products back to nature and communities in the U.S. and Canada. Antea Group's assistance included source water protection, community watershed partnerships, and technical support for other water resource initiatives to help our client achieve its water sustainability goals.
Examples of support provided to date:
- Rainwater harvesting through barrel donation programs (55-gallon drums donated to watershed group or County Extension Service to repurpose as rain barrels and distribute in the community)
- Rain gardens established to cleanse water pollution from stormwater runoff and help infiltrate the water to the ground for replenishment
- Annual beach/river clean-ups
- Stream bank/shoreline restoration projects where employees plant native vegetation and install riparian buffers to filter sediments/nutrients and construct stabilization structures
- Dam removal to reconnect fish passages
- Agricultural best management practices demonstration projects in the watershed (e.g., conservation irrigation, no-till farming, sod-based crop rotation) to increase soil organic matter and decrease water use while achieving same amount and quality of production
- Invasive/non-native plant species removal to reduce water (evapotranspiration) losses from plants that are more thirsty than the native plants and restore natural habitat
- Protection of wetlands and other natural areas from development (through purchase or conservation easement) to maintain the hydrologic condition of the watershed
- Revegetation and reforestation of watershed recharge areas to inverse infiltration and reduce runoff
- Participation (speaking opportunities to share client water stewardship commitment and achievements at local facilities) and sponsorship in community water conservation forums and NGO fundraisers
- Support of educational and training programs on water conservation, policy, and stormwater management
The work has expanded from working with local bottlers to helping facilities look for ways to engage in watershed stewardship. We coordinate the watershed partnerships and act as a liaison between corporate and bottlers, building community watershed partnerships and water replenishment programs nationwide with The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, the Environmental Protection Agency, River Network, and local watershed conservation groups. Replenishment projects include rainwater harvesting, no-net stormwater discharge, conservation irrigation implementation on agricultural lands, and promoting sustainable watershed management practices. With our support, replenishment projects through community water partners have grown from four to 33.