Business For Water Stewardship (BWS) announced the transfer of over $1.5 million in corporate and philanthropic funding to support Arizona’s efforts to increase water supply reliability through a system conservation project with the Colorado River Indian Tribes (CRIT).
The funds were provided by leading corporations and brands including Intel Corp.; Microsoft; Cox; The Coca-Cola Foundation; Procter & Gamble; Reformation; Silk; Target and Swire Coca-Cola, USA. The funding directly supports the CRIT system conservation project developed through the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan (DCP) negotiations in Arizona. The project is designed to shore up water levels in Lake Mead and help prevent future water shortages that could impact Arizona.
The corporate funding is matched by private philanthropic funds from the Water Funder Initiative and the Arizona Community Foundation to bring the total amount to over $1.5 million. The new funding builds on prior NGO and corporate commitments and brings the total private funding secured to over $6 million, or 75% of the target goal for private and philanthropic funding for the CRIT system conservation project.
This landmark collective funding agreement from nine corporations is the single largest collaborative funding effort of its kind in Arizona. Today’s funding announcement complements existing funding from the state of Arizona to compensate CRIT for conserving up to 150,000 acre-feet of its Colorado River water, which will directly shore up declining water levels in Lake Mead. The funding also supports longer-term CRIT efforts to modernize irrigation systems and conserve water.
“The business community is a key partner in helping Arizona plan for a sustainable future,” said Tom Buschatzke, Director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources. “The Drought Contingency Plan process required all of us to work together in our shared interest. We need to keep that commitment to collaboration alive as we continue to implement the plan.”
“Our contribution to the DCP was just the beginning of our plan to actively manage our water rights to both provide for our people and to protect and preserve the River,” said Keith Moses, Vice Chairman of the Colorado River Indian Tribes. “We look forward to continuing to work with our federal, state, non-profit, and corporate partners to maximize the environmental and economic value of our federally reserved water rights. This is a team effort, and we know we can build upon our successes in the years to come.”
“It’s remarkable to see the business community come together like this—with some of the world’s most successful companies working to ensure that Arizona’s long-term water security remains a priority, said Todd Reeve, CEO of Bonneville Environmental Foundation and Director of Business for Water Stewardship. “This incredible showing of business commitment highlights a new era of water policy and action where the business community not only understands what is at stake, but also chooses to directly drive water solutions that make Arizona a great place to invest, hire, and grow.”
“Today’s announcement is the latest in a long history of Intel’s commitment to Arizona,” said Elizabeth Shipley, Director of Public Affairs for Intel in Arizona. “We’re proud of our investments in water conservation and commend the organizations supporting the CRIT system conservation project. Intel is committed to continuing to support projects and programs that benefit Arizona’s community, economy, and ecosystem in support of our 2030 goals.”
“This partnership represents an important next step for Arizona’s water story: one where political leadership and the business and philanthropic communities come together to assure long-term water security for Arizona,” said John Wolfe, Senior Vice President & Southwest Region Manager, Cox Communications. “We are proud to support the state’s efforts to plan for a sustainable future that preserves water for community, business and ecological uses.”
Business for Water Stewardship is a program of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation that helps businesses advance solutions to ensure that our communities, economies and ecosystems have enough clean water to flourish. We provide ways for businesses to actively help sustain rivers and replenish aquifers, promote forward-looking water policies, and boost their reputations as environmental stewards.