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California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC)

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California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC)

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Organization Overview

Water scarcity in California is rapidly increasing due to unsustainable water use and decreasing supply reliability. Worsening droughts, intensifying wildfires, and degradation of freshwater ecosystems, all amplified by climate change, are further threatening water supplies for people and nature.

To address these growing challenges, an unlikely coalition of NGOs and corporations came together in 2014 to form the California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC). We are now a netw…

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Water scarcity in California is rapidly increasing due to unsustainable water use and decreasing supply reliability. Worsening droughts, intensifying wildfires, and degradation of freshwater ecosystems, all amplified by climate change, are further threatening water supplies for people and nature.

To address these growing challenges, an unlikely coalition of NGOs and corporations came together in 2014 to form the California Water Action Collaborative (CWAC). We are now a network of over 25 organizations learning together, collectively developing projects, and advancing innovative solutions to improve water security and resilience across California.

CWAC was originally conceived in May 2014 following a Water Action Hub meeting hosted by the CEO Water Mandate in Los Angeles, at the height of severe drought in Caliofrnia. Several meeting attendees - including major food and beverage companies and leading environmental organizations - expressed a desire to better understand California's water challenges, identify geographies and issues of shared interest, and collaborate to make measurable positive impacts on water security in the state. CWAC began as a casual working group, and has now evolved into a formal coalition with joint stewardship projects, a steering committee, regional working groups, shared goals, and annual in-person meetings.

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Partner Organizations


Ag Innovations is founded on the power of collaboration. We imagine, design, and convene powerful collaboratives that quickly develop the vision, strategies, and implementation plan to drive change. We focus on the food system and the human and natural resources … Learn More

The Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) is a partnership of some of the world’s leaders in sustainable water resource management, bringing together businesses, multilateral agencies, governments, civil society and communities to drive consensus-based actions on shared water risk. At the … Learn More

Anheuser-Busch InBev is a publicly traded company (Euronext: ABI) based in Leuven, Belgium, with American Depositary Receipts on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BUD). With a portfolio of well over 200 beer brands, it is the leading global brewer, … Learn More

The CEO Water Mandate mobilizes business leaders to advance water stewardship, sanitation, and the Sustainable Development Goals – in partnership with the United Nations, governments, peers, civil society, and others. Endorsers of the CEO Water Mandate recognize that they can … Learn More

Ecolab is the global leader in water, hygiene and climate technologies and services that protect people and vital resources. With 2019 sales of $13.5 billion and 50,000 associates, Ecolab delivers comprehensive solutions and on-site service to promote safe food, maintain … Learn More

Future 500 is a non-profit consultancy that builds trust between companies, advocates, investors, and philanthropists to advance business as a force for good. Our organization formed in 1995 as a venue for corporations and environmental NGOs to debate the systemic … Learn More

General Mills, Inc., is an American multinational manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer foods sold through retail stores. Learn More

• Nestlé’s ambition is to enhance people’s lives through nutrition, health and wellness. We offer healthier and tastier food and beverage choices at all stages of life and at all times of the day. Based on science and Research and … Learn More

Olam International is a leading agri-business operating from seed to shelf in 65 countries, supplying food and industrial raw materials to over 13,800 customers worldwide. Our team of 23,000 employees has built a leadership position in many businesses including cocoa, … Learn More

The Pacific Institute envisions a world in which society, the economy, and the environment have the water they need to thrive now and in the future. In pursuit of this vision, the Institute creates and advances solutions to the world’s … Learn More

Sustainable Conservation helps California thrive by uniting people to solve the toughest challenges facing our land, air, and water. Learn More

The Sustainable Food Lab is a consortium within which about 70 food companies and their NGO and academic partners design and implement pilots of sustainable supply of agricultural ingredients. Learn More

The Coca-ColaCompany is the world's largest beverage company. The purpose of company is to refresh the world and make a difference. Our vision is to craft the brands and choice of drinks that people love, to refresh them in body … Learn More

The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. We acheive this through the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff, including more than 550 scientists, located in all 50 U.S. states … Learn More

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization working on issues regarding the conservation, research and restoration of the environment. It is the world's largest independent conservation organization with over 5 million supporters worldwide, working in … Learn More

Microsoft's mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Learn More

Water stewardship has long been one of PepsiCo’s top priorities, and it's an important part of building a Positive Value Chain. As one of the first companies of our size to acknowledge water as a human right, we have a … Learn More

The Water Resilience Coalition, founded in 2020, is an industry-driven, CEO-led coalition of the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate that aims to elevate global water stress to the top of the corporate agenda and preserve the world's freshwater resources … Learn More

Coalition Members


The Water Resilience Coalition, founded in 2020, is an industry-driven, CEO-led coalition of the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate that aims to elevate global water stress to the top of the corporate agenda and preserve the world's freshwater resources … Learn More

Partner Projects


The Nature Conservancy and partners are implementing a landscape-scale forest restoration and research project on the property and adjacent Forest Service lands, referred to as the French Meadows Project. The Project aims to increase the pace and scale of ecologically-based … Learn More

Optimize and reuse water within the manufacturing plant Adopt the Alliance for Water Stewardship International Water Stewardship Standard Participate in project's within the catchment to offset consumptive water use at the plantProject ResultsWater efficiency: Optimized plant water use Water stewardship: … Learn More

Optimize and reuse water within the manufacturing plant Adopt the Alliance for Water Stewardship International Water Stewardship Standard Participate in project's within the catchment to offset consumptive water use at the plant Understand contextualized water targets Project ResultsWater efficiency: Optimized … Learn More

Dairy manure is a valuable by-product that producers traditionally use to fertilize the crops they grow to keep their cows happy and healthy. However, with few export options and limited on-farm management strategies for this “black gold,” farmers end up … Learn More

Groundwater is a key resource under stress in California – communities rely on underground aquifers for drinking water, and farmers use groundwater as an essential water source, especially during times of drought. Many species and their habitats rely on the … Learn More

California's Central Coast is facing interreated water quality and supply issues: groundwater overdraft, saltwater intrusion, and nutrient-laden runoff that impairs waterways and groundwater. This vibrant farming region is at risk, but farmers are part of the solution. This project is … Learn More

Following the destruction of the Station Fire of 2009, the National Forest Foundation partnered with the Forest Service and engaged the local community to restore the Angeles National Forest. The Fire affected four watersheds, decimated forests, and severely damaged both … Learn More

With climate change altering the timing and volume of precipitation, climate-resilient urban landscapes and water supply strategies are critical – particularly for those who depend on imported water like Southern California. The Pacific Institute &amp; CEO Water Mandate are leading … Learn More

The Pacific Institute, in its role as co-secretariat for the CEO Water Mandate, coordinated a clustered pilot for setting site water targets in the Santa Ana River Watershed (SARW) in southern California. This helped test and inform global guidance under … Learn More

The National Forest Foundation is working with the U.S. Forest Service and partners like Coca-Cola to restore the Tahoe National Forest Headwaters to optimum health by thinning vegetation, restoring meadows and river channels, eradicating invasive species, improving water flows, increasing … Learn More

The Groundwater Exchange is a free, collaborative online platform designed to connect water managers, water users and community members with tools and resources to support successful implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in California. It brings together materials … Learn More

As climate-change-driven aridification worsens water scarcity throughout the Western United States, cities like Los Angeles that rely on energy-intensive water supplies from distant, over-tapped watersheds must make major investments in water efficiency and conservation to ensure local water resilience. In … Learn More

Suggested Resources

View the full list of 300+ resources at the Water Stewardship Toolbox

WBCSD Learn More

Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Learn More

CTCN; UNEP Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

IPIECA Learn More

Ceres Learn More

Ecolab Learn More

PRI; WWF Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; Pegasys; Water Witness International; WWF Learn More

The World Bank Learn More

UNEP-DHI Learn More

WBCSD Learn More

UN Water Learn More

OECD Learn More

River Threat Netwrok Learn More

CEO Water Mandate; WWF Learn More

Swedish Textile Water Initiative Learn More

Alliance for Water Stewardship Learn More

CEO Water Mandate Learn More

McKinsey Learn More

Toilet Board Coalition Learn More

Conservation International Learn More

UNEP Learn More

UN Water Learn More

AT&T; EDF; Global Environmental Management Institute (GEMI) Learn More

OECD Learn More

SAI Platform Learn More

Cora Kammeyer
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Bridget Lowry
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Jason Morrison
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Morgan Shimabuku
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Suzannah Sosman
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Genevieve Taylor
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