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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Connect the Drops?

Coordinated by Ceres, Connect the Drops is a “big tent” campaign elevating the voice of California businesses in a time of unprecedented drought in favor of resilient water solutions such as conservation, reuse and integrated management of the state’s precious surface and groundwater supplies. It aims to promote a shared message that is positive, solutions-oriented, and bridges the state’s traditional water "divides.”

What is the purpose of Connect the Drops?

The purpose is to demonstrate strong business support from highly credible companies for taking action on water stewardship at both the local and state levels. It also champions the innovative actions already taking place within these companies and provides interested companies with collaborative opportunities to directly engage policy makers and others on the need to “connect the drops” between sustainable water supplies and the economic health of California.

The centerpiece of Connect the Drops is a declaration drafted by Ceres that gives voice to the economic benefits of sustainable water management and highlights the important connections between healthy water supplies and the vitality of the California economy.

What are overarching goals of Connect the Drops?

The goal of Connect the Drops is to promote actions that maximize local water supplies, specifically:

  • Water conservation and efficiency
  • Water reuse and recycling
  • Stormwater capture and recharge

Why now?

The growing visibility of water challenges and increased public awareness of the issues has created a new urgency and renewed momentum for action:

  1. A Drought of Historic Proportions: With 95% of the state in "severe", “extreme” or “exceptional” drought conditions, drought-related economic losses to agriculture alone are expected to tally $2.7 billion in 2015, with the potential for much larger economic impact as the drought continues into 2015.
  2. Dwindling Groundwater Supplies: Groundwater supplies, which represent more than 40% of California’s water use, are under tremendous strain as a result of the drought and reduced surface water supplies, with recent NASA satellite images showing 4 trillion gallons in groundwater storage depleted in the Central Valley over the past 3 years.
  3. Significant Legislative and Regulatory Momentum: Recently passed groundwater legislation, issuance of the California Water Action Plan by the Administration and voter approval of the new water bond in November indicates that state lawmakers and the governor are increasingly supportive of ambitious efforts to advance sustainable water management. In addition, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted mandatory water conservation requirements for urban water suppliers that went into effect on June 1, 2015 and has issued surface water diversion curtailment notices to various water rights holders.
  4. Strong Public Support: A recent survey by the Public Policy Institute of California finds that Californians see water and drought as the most important issue facing the state, and most residents say people in their region are not doing enough to respond. 39% of respondents named water and drought as the most important state issue, followed by jobs and the economy (20%).

 

Who can participate?

Companies with a water footprint in California that have more than $100 million in annual revenues are eligible to participate in the Connect the Drops campaign. Ceres staff will review each company’s water stewardship commitment to ensure that it aligns with the campaign goals. Companies below this revenue threshold are welcome to sign on to the campaign as an individual.

What are the ways that my company can participate?

In addition to lending their logos to the Connect the Drops Declaration, participating companies will have the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership by committing to three or more of the following:

  1. Telling their company’s water stewardship story though blogs, op-eds or other platforms
  2. Demonstrating new water stewardship commitments
  3. Engaging their customers and employees as individuals to sign the Declaration and take individual actions to conserve water
  4. Spreading the message through social media and other online communications
  5. Recruiting other businesses in their industry, supply chain or networks to join
  6. Engaging with policymakers and water authorities through written letters and in-person meetings
  7. Enlisting C-level executives in communicating their company’s participation in Connect the Drops


What are the benefits to my company?

  • Heightened visibility of your story of water leadership as part of a broader campaign, and increased public recognition for your company’s water stewardship efforts
  • The opportunity to work collaboratively with a cross-sector group of companies and policymakers to help shape the future of California’s water landscape
  • Access to educational resources on California water issues and best practices in corporate water stewardship
  • Messaging and marketing resources that can help you engage your employees and customers
  • The opportunity to elevate your company’s water stewardship efforts with key executives and other internal stakeholders

How can I find out more on Connect the Drops?

If you would like to add your company to the Declaration and participate in Connect the Drops, e-mail Kirsten James, Senior Manager, California Policy and Partnerships, at james@ceres.org for more information.

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