Coca Cola, CII tie up for water conservation programme

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Chandigarh, Mar 23: In a collaboration that could have a far-reaching impact and benefit for industry and the environment, the CII Northern Region and Coca-Cola India today announced the launch of 'CONSERVE' - a water conservation and management project, to mark the observance of World Water Day 2008.

'CONSERVE' will promote industry engagement on rainwater harvesting and community water conservation programmes and will not only create awareness but also build capacity among industry.

The project will be implemented over a period of one year in the Northern states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Jammu&Kashmir, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.

''To meet the growing requirement of water and to be counted as a development oriented nation, it is imperative not only to develop new water sources but also conserve, recycle and reuse water wherever possible,'' stated Mr Deep Kapuria, Chairman CII Northern Region.

It has been shown that conservation of water through rain water harvesting and artificial ground water recharge can generate about 125 km cube/year of additional water. Similarly recycling industrial and municipal and industrial waste water can generate about 177 Km cube/year water, Mr Kapuria added.

CII, along with its Mission Partner, Coca-Cola India, intends augmentation of water conservation among corporates, especially the SME sector in Northern India, he said.

He reiterated that CII with Coca-Cola India would help corporates meet increasing demands on limited water supplies through collaborative projects, water conservation technologies and expanded information sharing.
Elaborating on the project campaign activities, Mr Kapuria said that basically, these would be of 3 types. Firstly, a policy campaign would be undertaken, as the Indian water laws have remained weak and not kept pace with global practices. CII and Coca Cola would undertake documentation of the best practices in the world and evolve guidelines and modalities on how they could be implemented in the Indian context.

Secondly, innovative models would be created and demonstrated to corporates and thirdly, the two partners would assist in implementation of Central and State Government programmes. This will be primarily to demonstrate what is achievable presently and set up minimum benchmarks in different regions through involvement of Corporates, NGOs, so as to ensure a minimum quality of implementation in Government programmes, Mr Kapuria said.

Mr Deepak Jolly, Vice-President, Public Affairs and Communications, Coca-Cola India Limited said, "As a responsible corporate, we follow the strategy of access to water, awareness and conservation". The company will undertaken several projects in each of these areas in partnership with government, NGOs and industry associations and local community for projects on water stewardship, Mr Jolly said.

Talking about the road map ahead Mr Jolly said the immediate focus will be on watershed based co-management of water by industries and local communities. To achieve this, we will network with corporate organisations and resource organisations for awareness generation, organise State level/Zonal awareness workshops and conferences, involve corporate management in the initiatives taken under the project and facilitate linkages among existing service providers to work together on water conservation, he said.

In a further boost to 'Conserve", Coca Cola India will invite community water harvesting proposals in notified areas of Haryana and Punjab and undertake implementation of some selected projects.


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