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The Coca-Cola Foundation, The Rivers Trust and WWF are working together to replenish water in the Thames and South East River Basins

The Coca-Cola Foundation, The Rivers Trust and WWF are working together to replenish water in the Thames and South East River Basins

To celebrate World Water Week, Coca-Cola Foundation, The Rivers Trust and WWF have launched three new projects, taking place between now and September 2018, in the Thames and South East River Basins, for the benefit of both people and wildlife.

Funded as part of the global Coca-Cola ‘replenish programme’ these three new projects will locally contribute to the company promise to safely return the equivalent amount of water used in all their drinks and production to communities and nature.

Liz Lowe, Sustainability Manager at Coca-Cola Great Britain commented: “Water and its stewardship is at the very heart of our business. Over the last 5 years, Coca-Cola and WWF have supported the establishment of the Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) across England. These new projects build on and complement the existing partnership programme we are currently undertaking with sugar beet farmers in East Anglia, and we are really excited to support their progress to improve water quality and quantity in the iconic Thames basin, upon which communities and our local factories depend.”

Natalie Smith, Head of Corporate Stewardship Food and Water at WWF UK, commented: “These projects will help to advance WWF’s goal to protect English chalk stream rivers and play an important role in continuing to build stakeholder engagement on the importance of water stewardship. The chalk aquifer in the Thames basin is officially classed as in water stress and defined by the Environment Agency as in ‘poor quantitative status’. Abstraction and pollution are taking a toll on this incredibly important water system, and this work will focus on improving water quality and relieving water scarcity.”

Delivering the projects are three Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) partners. The projects and partners are: Thames 21, who are creating a constructed wetland in Broomfield Park, North London in order to improve urban water quality; South-East Rivers Trust, tackling urban pollution in the Beverley Brook, South West London through installation of an innovative underground water treatment chamber; and Kent Wildlife Trust, who are restoring Ham Fen peatlands on the Kent Coast.

The local delivery partners, will be funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation, as part of the company’s global freshwater sustainability priorities. In addition to improvements in water quality and quantity, the projects will record and report upon benefits to natural capital that may arise and will engage with key stakeholders to highlight the work being undertaken and exchange best practice.

Rob Collins, Head of Policy at The Rivers Trust, commented: “This project will support the overarching objective of the Catchment Based Approach, to enhance and restore freshwater ecosystems, through collaborative water management. Connecting our local Rivers Trusts and catchment partners with large organisations such as Coca-Cola and WWF is really important to helping us achieve more together and deliver real on the ground benefits to the environment and local communities.”

To find out more about each project involved visit: www.theriverstrust.org/replenish

Photo credit: Clearwater Photography

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