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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 extreme weather - six years of epic drought punctuated by record, damaging precipitation - 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?

It is more important than ever for the business voice in support of water stewardship in California to be heard. Connect the Drops provides a unique opportunity for companies to help foster sustainable water solutions as the state addresses the water management issues associated with both unprecedented, extended periods of drought and extreme precipitation - the new normal. By joining the campaign, your company joins a growing list of leading companies that know that there is a tremendous economic opportunity to be had in advancing a sustainable water future for California.

Why Now?

The growing visibility of water challenges - crippling drought interspersed with seasons of torrential rain - and increased public awareness of the issues has created a new urgency and renewed momentum for action:

1. Historic Weather Extremes - A Complex New Normal: In 2016, following five years of crippling drought, 95% of California was listed in “severe,” “extreme” or “exceptional” drought conditions. Yet the winter of 2017 has seen record breaking rain that has brought flooding and infrastructure failure. The economic costs associated with these weather extremes have been staggering.

2. Dwindling Groundwater Supplies: Groundwater supplies, which represent more than 40% of California’s water use, remain under tremendous strain as a result of years of drought and reduced surface water supplies.

3. Significant Legislative and Regulatory Momentum: Legislation passed over the last few years including the Open and Transparent Water Data Act and Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, issuance of the California Water Action Plan by the Administration, and voter approval of a water bond indicates that state lawmakers, the governor, and the electorate are increasingly supportive of ambitious efforts to advance sustainable water management. In addition, for the first time in history, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted mandatory water conservation requirements for urban water suppliers.

4. Strong Public Support: Since the onset of the drought, surveys by the Public Policy Institute of California have consistently found that Californians see water and drought as a critical issue facing the state, and most residents say people in their region are not doing enough to respond.

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, Director, California Policy and Partnerships, at james@ceres.org for more information.

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