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Sustainable Food Systems

With our investor and company partners, Ceres is driving large-scale changes in the way food is produced and sourced. We are working with the world’s largest institutional investors to help them better understand how these pressures present risks and opportunities for the food sector.

Water Deeply

Squeezing Water from Wine: Constellation Brands Takes on the Drought

by Water Deeply Posted on Nov 22, 2016

In the face of California’s ongoing drought, Clos du Bois - owned by Constellation Brands, a Connect the Drops signatory - has taken strong steps over the last few years to reduce the amount of water it takes to produce and bottle its premier wines.

Water Deeply

Rethinking ‘Infrastructure’ to Protect California’s Water Future

by Kirsten JamesWater Deeply Posted on Oct 17, 2016

The California Water Commission’s draft regulations for water storage projects is nearly complete but it looks like the commission may miss an important opportunity to allow groundwater basins to play a role in water resilience, writes Kirsten James of Ceres.

Water Deeply

California’s New Water Data Law Will Have Far-Reaching Benefits

by Kirsten JamesWater Deeply Posted on Oct 11, 2016

California governor Jerry Brown signed a bill in September that will help collect and share water data, which will aid the water transfer market and implementation of groundwater law.

Water Deeply

Water Reuse in California: Overcoming the Barriers to Its Expansion

by Kirsten JamesWater Deeply Posted on Oct 05, 2016

Californians favor increasing water reuse in the state, but regulatory and financing hurdles still remain, leading experts on the topic to join in discussing the solutions, says Kirsten James from nonprofit sustainability group Ceres.

Water Deeply

Why Passing Climate Legislation Is Good for California’s Water

by Kirsten JamesWater Deeply Posted on Aug 08, 2016

As every Californian knows by now, the state is in the fifth year of a drought, and this persistent imbalance of supply and demand in the water supply is likely the new norm. The good news is that many state leaders have woken up to this fact, and in recent years have been clearing some of the logjams around smart water management.

Water Deeply

Complications of ‘New’ Deep Groundwater

by Kirsten JamesWater Deeply Posted on Jul 22, 2016

As exciting as it was to learn of deep groundwater reserves in California, the state’s efforts now are better spent pursuing more cost-effective solutions already at our fingertips.


Wine, Beer and Medicine: 3 Companies Helping Solve California’s Water Woes

by Kirsten JamesEcoWatch Posted on Jul 11, 2016

Despite recent news that drought-ridden California is sitting on top of large reserves of previously unrecognized, deep groundwater resources, the state still faces significant water challenges.

Water Deeply

Watershed Protection Comes From Corporate Partners

by Kirsten JamesWater Deeply Posted on Jun 24, 2016

Coca-Cola is backing efforts to help restore key watersheds in southern California, signaling a new era in corporate water stewardship, writes Kirsten James, who oversees the California policy program at Ceres.

Water Deeply

Recycled Water Key to California’s Water Security

by Kirsten JamesWater Deeply Posted on May 25, 2016

Recycled water could play a major role in helping to secure a more sustainable water future for California, but the state needs to take some key steps to move implementation along quicker. Polls indicate that the public is ready.


San Francisco Makes History With New Water Bond

The city is leveraging the power of green bonds by issuing the first certified under the Water Climate Bonds Standard to help fund projects to repair the city’s aging water infrastructure, including the stormwater and sewer systems.

Water Deeply

Can California Make Saving Water a Way of Life?

by Kirsten JamesWater Deeply Posted on May 13, 2016

California may be in danger of losing the gains it has worked hard to achieve in the last year in water conservation. A wet winter doesn’t mean California is in the clear.

Water Deeply

Why Food Waste Means Water Waste

by Kirsten JamesWater Deeply Posted on Apr 07, 2016

From an economic, environmental and social standpoint, keeping food out of landfills is imperative. We waste 40 percent of the food we buy each year while one in seven Americans go hungry, and the global agriculture industry emits one-third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. But there’s another aspect of the food waste problem that gets much less discussion, one that is also critically important to water-stressed California: Saving food equals saving water.

Water Deeply

Worms and Wine? Fetzer Vineyards First to Adopt Innovative Wastewater Treatment System to Save Water / Combat Climate Change

by Meg WilcoxWater Deeply Posted on Apr 06, 2016

It takes a lot of water to make a glass of California wine, anywhere from two to 15 gallons of water, according to recent studies. And as the state moves into its fifth year of drought, many California wineries are rethinking how they use water and the way they do business.

Huffington Post

Calling On Big Business to Step Up and Help Solve California’s Water Woes

by Kirsten JamesHuffington Post Posted on Mar 22, 2016

Long before the California drought became a national crisis, multinational berry company Driscoll’s knew it had to organize a solution to the water problem its grower partners were facing.


Recycled water system to be put to test at development near Tracy

The White House recently issued a government-wide directive to reduce the nation’s vulnerability to drought, which it said “poses a serious and growing threat to the security and economies of communities nationwide.” To that end, 150 businesses and nonprofits will pledge $4 billion in private capital to improve water resiliency.

Water Deeply

The Best Options for Groundwater Recharge

by Kirsten JamesWater Deeply Posted on Mar 14, 2016

The water bond passed by voters in 2014 provides funding for projects to help recharge groundwater. But some of the best and most cost-effective options may be smaller-scale projects. Ceres' Kirsten James takes a look at some promising options in both urban and agricultural areas.

Water Deeply

Digging Into the Regulatory Process for Water Conservation

by Kirsten JamesWater Deeply Posted on Mar 11, 2016

By the time California homes have fully embraced these new water-efficiency fixtures, the annual savings will be on the order of 38 billion gallons of water - nearly 58,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, or enough water for almost 290,000 California homes for a year.

Water Deeply

Time to Change Water-Pricing Schemes

by Kirsten JamesWater Deeply Posted on Feb 29, 2016

The way we pay for water in California has to change. Despite a wet winter this year, California still faces serious drought conditions, and the forecast for the longer term is that this is likely the new normal. Balancing a growing population’s water demand with economic and environmental needs will require a shift in business as usual.

Water Deeply

We Need to Fight Drought With Better Data

by Kirsten JamesWater Deeply Posted on Feb 08, 2016

California is managing its water system like an unbalanced checkbook. There are thousands of “withdrawals” and “deposits” from stressed surface water and groundwater supplies, but no sufficient accounting system to understand the overall “balance” of water resources. Better data and new policies are helping to change this.

Water Deeply

Water Conservation Should Be a Way of Life

by Kirsten JamesWater Deeply Posted on Jan 28, 2016

We need to stay the course and keep up our conservation efforts to protect our water future, but in the midst of El Niño storms, how do you convince stakeholders and the public that we need to remain vigilant and continue to conserve? This isn’t easy, but luckily we have a governor and State Water Board who understand that we are in a long-term game.

Water Deeply

New Water Laws Ahead. And Still Much More To Do

by Kirsten JamesWater Deeply Posted on Jan 05, 2016

Much progress has been made at remaking California’s water future. But we're far from done. We need to keep plugging away and not let a season of heavy precipitation slow our momentum.

SF Chronicle

Green bonds — a way to invest in California water sustainability

by Kirsten JamesSF Chronicle Posted on Dec 30, 2015

In 2014, Californians passed a water bond allotting $7.12 billion to fund key water projects, but that sum doesn’t go far enough. A recent Public Policy Institute of California report found that there is a $2 billion to $3 billion annual funding gap in five key water management areas, including storm water capture and integrated water management.


Five New Companies Join Ceres’ Connect the Drops Water Campaign in California

Ceres announces today at a Skytop Symposium on Water and Long-Term Value, at Levi Strauss & Co. headquarters, that Clif Bar, Genentech, Fetzer Vineyards, Qualcomm Incorporated and VMware have joined its Connect the Drops Campaign to support resilient water solutions at a time of unprecedented drought in California.


International Consultation Opens on Water Climate Bond Standard

The Climate Bonds Initiative and consortium partners Ceres, World Resources Institute, CDP and the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation have released for public comment, the world’s first standard for low carbon and climate resilient water bonds. The proposed Water Climate Bond Standard will bring a focus on vulnerability assessment and climate mitigation and adaptation planning to the fixed income space. It will allow investors to easily prioritise projects that are seriously considering their climate impacts and climate resilience.

Here's an unexpected answer for the groundwater shortage

by Kirsten Posted on Nov 05, 2015

Congressional representatives in October sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown asking about his plans to ensure that when El Niño’s storms hit, the water is captured. More dams, greater surface storage and looser environmental permitting do not add up to a sustainable water supply for California. We need to think outside of the box.

Water Deeply

How Much Do We Leak? At Last, California Will Know

by Kirsten JamesWater Deeply Posted on Oct 12, 2015

California’s “severe drought” is now at 860 days and counting. Every Californian is feeling the ripples, whether in lawn watering bans, fallowed farmland or tap water limits at local restaurants. So when will the state’s water woes be over?

National Geographic

Farm Water Management Lessons from the Desert

by Meg WilcoxNational Geographic Posted on Sep 25, 2015

Year-round warm temperatures and decades of smart water planning have earned the state its place in the market. Unlike California, however, Arizona is not currently facing a water crisis, even though it too is enduring prolonged drought.


4 Reasons Why El Nino Won’t Solve California’s Epic Drought

by Kirsten James, Director, California Policy and Partnerships Ceres Posted on Sep 05, 2015

El Nino will solve the drought. You’re hearing this sentiment around California these days. After four years of bone-dry winters, warmer Pacific Ocean waters are expected to bring lots of precipitation to California this winter—a huge opportunity for replenishing California’s depleted reservoirs and aquifers.


California Companies Voice Support for Water-Saving Legislative Proposals

In advance of a key hearing this week, a half-dozen major California companies are voicing public support for two water-related legislative proposals that will help protect California's limited water supplies amid and beyond the current devastating drought.


Banana Republic’s Windows Campaign Connects The Water Drops in California

“Water conservation” has become the state motto in California as the epic drought continues to sap the region. Banana Republic wants to raise awareness around sustainability as a small, but important step forward to be more conscious about the environmental impact we all have in our daily lives.


New water rules for California cities aren't enough: Scientists

New urban water restrictions went into effect for cities across California on Monday, but the state will have to do more to prepare for a possible "new normal" of increased demand and dry periods that are longer, more frequent and more intense, a group of scientists said.

Fast Co Exist

California's Water Crisis Is The Result Of Market Failure As Much As Drought

by Brooke BartonFast Co Exist Posted on Jun 02, 2015

Weak pricing signals. Poor accounting. Byzantine rules. These are just a few of the reasons why California is in the midst of a water crisis. A lack of rainfall is perhaps the least of the state's problems. California's situation is symptomatic of escalating water risks all across the world, where water is typically undervalued and, as a result, used incredibly inefficiently as more people than ever need it.


How MillerCoors is brewing more beer with less water

"Liquid gold" is a popular descriptor for a refreshing mug of beer. But in the case of MillerCoors’ sprawling Irwindale, Calif., brewery, the phrase is most applicable to water — or the lack thereof.


Driscoll’s Berries on the Front Lines of Climate Change

We live in strange times. One in 3 people around the world are overweight, and around the world 24 percent of calories are wasted between the farm and the refrigerator. Meanwhile, some 805 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy, active life: abundance and scarcity, hand in hand.


MillerCoors and Sungevity Join Ceres’ Connect the Drops Water Campaign in California

Two major businesses - the MillerCoors Brewing Co., and Oakland-based solar company Sungevity - announced today that they have joined Connect the Drops, a business-led campaign organized by Ceres urging bold measures and shared solutions to build a sustainable water future in drought-stricken California.


Levi Strauss & Co.: Connecting the Drops With Your Jeans

Levi Strauss & Co. recently joined Ceres’ “Connect the Drops” campaign to show our support for the importance of water conservation in California. As a company, we’re committed to increasing awareness around this critical issue. That’s why, after undertaking a new Product Lifecycle Assessment (LCA), we’ve announced a new campaign to educate consumers about the environmental impact of their jeans.


Driscoll’s leading charge for change in water policies

Driscoll’s berry company announced its involvement in “Connect the Drops,” a campaign that combines the voices of diverse companies into a single call to action demanding bolder water management policies and solutions for California.

General Mills

Connect the Drops on water conservation

by Ellen SilvaGeneral Mills Posted on Mar 06, 2015

Water is essential to human life … and to running our business. In fact, our sustainability work centers on protecting and conserving the natural resource base on which our business depends. Water is at the top of the “most critical natural resources to our business list.”


Business coalition forms in response to California drought

A coalition of businesses including The Coca-Cola Company and Gap Inc. announced Thursday it is backing Gov. Jerry Brown's call for conservation in drought-stricken California.


General Mills, Driscoll’s, Coca-Cola & KB Home Launch Business Campaign Urging Bolder Strategies To Conserve Water

As California’s devastating drought enters its fourth year, and farmers face a second consecutive year with reduced surface water supplies, a diverse coalition of global businesses with significant supply chains or operations in California today announced Connect the Drops, a new campaign urging aggressive measures to maximize California's local and state water resources.

National Geographic

Berry giant Driscoll's joins effort to conserve water in California's Central Coast

by Peyton FlemingNational Geographic Posted on Aug 06, 2014

Three years before the California drought became a national crisis, national berry giant Driscoll's, on the state’s Central Coast, knew it had a major problem with water.

National Geographic

Homebuilder KB Home Unveils Water and Energy Efficient Housing

by Meg WilcoxNational Geographic Posted on Apr 24, 2014

The Dawn Creek subdivision in Lancaster, 60 miles north of Los Angeles, looks like any other neighborhood scattered across California’s Antelope Valley. But Dawn Creek contains a home like no other in the country—a so-called Double ZeroHouse that is so highly energy and water efficient that it uses zero electricity from the grid and less than half the water of an average home.

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