At an early age, I knew I wanted to work with water. My interest began while I was in college, and I am proud to be a Natural Resource Manager for Nestlé Waters in California. Part of my job includes traveling all over the West studying and monitoring water resources. In my position, I work with several experts including engineering and scientific consultants that inform the management of the overall, long-term sustainability of the company’s spring water resources. I also work closely with our factory teams to implement water conservation measures.
Our Arrowhead Brand Mountain Spring Water has been responsibly sourced from the springs in Strawberry Canyon, in what is now the San Bernardino National Forest, for almost 125 years. The ability to supply this spring water to consumers for more than a century is due, in part, to our commitment to long-term sustainability.
Across the spring sources where we operate, we: closely monitor hydrogeological and environmental conditions to ensure sustainability through regular site visits where we conduct visual and physical inspections of spring sources consistently track measurements of environmental features including water quality, spring water flows, precipitation, and, where applicable, local surface water flows and groundwater levels conduct regular environmental surveys to monitor the long-term health of the habitats around the springs sites.
Something that is key to understanding how we source water at Arrowhead Springs is that we do not pump water from the spring site; we only collect what flows naturally. Therefore, if it rains less during the winter and spring, nature will provide less spring water in the summer and fall months. We also divide our collection of spring water among the many springs we source from to avoid over-reliance on any one spring, this also helps us protect the long-term sustainability and health of the spring source habitats.
Watch the video below to understand just how Nestlé Waters cares for spring water in California.
Our responsible water management does not stop at our spring water sources. We are also always working to improve our water usage across our five factories in California.
One of my most important contributions has been to promote greater water efficiencies. This includes upgrading our technology to reuse water for cooling — as opposed to using drinking water — in our bottled water facilities in California. Changes like this are critical to improving our water efficiency. Combined, these efforts saved more than 54 million gallons of water between 2016 and 2017 and continue to save water today.
Additionally, all five of our California bottled water factories are certified according to the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) standard, a global benchmark created by environmental groups such as The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund for measuring responsible water stewardship across social, environmental and economic criteria. Our Ontario facility was the first in North America to be certified to this rigorous standard and our Cabazon factory is the first Gold-certified facility in North America and only the second in the entire world.
Our commitment within our local communities adds to the long list of things that makes Nestlé Waters stand out as a corporate leader. In 1993 we worked closely with other corporations and the USFS to form a public/private partnership, the San Bernardino Mountains Foundation, to help bring interest, investment and back into the local forest. The partnership succeeds today as the Southern California Mountains Foundation of which we have been a leading partner for over 25 years. Our partnership with Cucamonga Valley Water District to pilot treatment processes to improve local groundwater quality has resulted in over 230 million gallons of recovered potable water into the districts system each year since the project was approved in 2016. Our support of local environmental education is another good example of makes me proud of Nestlé Waters commitment to our community.
We have been developing ways to employ renewable energy systems across our operations in the United States. In 2012 we worked with our Foundation Wind Power and installed two wind turbines at our bottling plant in Cabazon, California. We recently announced that we are adding a third wind turbine to support this bottling facility, which will help supply nearly 50% of the facility’s total energy use. Earlier this year, we also announced that we transitioned our facility in Sacramento to 100% renewable energy.
Whether it is the monitoring and management of our spring sources or working with our teams in our factory to look for other opportunities to build on Nestlé’s global commitment to the environment, I am proud of our efforts in water conservation and renewable energy. California is my home and we need to make sure that everyone — no matter the sector — is doing their part to help conserve resources used across this great state.