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Brooke Barton

Brooke leads Ceres’ water program, directing the organization’s research and corporate and investor engagement on the risks and opportunities related to growing water scarcity.
Brooke Barton

Senior Program Director, Water Program

Brooke leads Ceres’ Water Program, directing the organization’s research and corporate and investor engagement on the risks and opportunities related to growing water scarcity. She is the co-author of The Ceres Aqua Gauge: A Framework for 21st Century Water Risk Management and two studies focused on agricultural water risks facing the food sector: Feeding Ourselves Thirsty: How the Food Sector is Managing Global Water Risks and Water & Climate Risks Facing U.S. Corn Production. Brooke oversees Ceres‘ Sustainable Agriculture Working Group and regularly advises Ceres member companies in the food and beverage sector on enhancing the overall sustainability of their direct operations and supply chains.

Prior to Ceres, Brooke was a researcher for the Harvard Business School's Social Enterprise Initiative, where she wrote case studies and articles on the sustainability strategies of multinational corporations in developing countries. While at Harvard, she co-edited Business Solutions for the Global Poor: Creating Economic and Social Value, a book examining over 20 business models for serving low-income consumers. Brooke's other professional experience includes communications and advocacy work with ACCION International, a microfinance NGO, and project evaluation with Catholic Relief Services in Bolivia. She holds a master's degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a B.A. in economics from Duke University. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese.

Recent Blog Posts

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.

National Geographic

Corn Remains King in USDA Irrigation Survey

by Brooke BartonNational Geographic Posted on Feb 10, 2015

It’s no secret that our agricultural industry is very thirsty, gobbling up 80 percent of the freshwater that America consumes each year. It takes a lot of water to feed the nation, and every five years we get an accounting of just how much it takes, for what crops and at what cost, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey.

The Guardian UK

Why is Europe failing to take the energy-water connection seriously?

by Brooke BartonThe Guardian UK Posted on Nov 04, 2013

Concerns are intensifying in the US about the troubling interdependence of the economy's water and energy needs.

National Geographic

Campbell’s Challenge: Growing Lots of Tomatoes in Water-Scarce California

by Peyton Fleming and Brooke BartonNational Geographic Posted on Oct 22, 2013

Last month, Ceres’ water team got some insights into how Campbell Soup is preparing for a likely drier future during a half-day visit to the 38-year-old processing plant and two nearby farms.

Ford prepares for a water-scarce future

by Brooke Posted on Jun 17, 2013

Helen Keller said, "The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision." Her words were on my mind during a workshop at Ford Motor Company’s headquarters where Ford brought together some of its executives with outside stakeholders, kicking off a year-long effort to deepen its water strategy.

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