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Access to clean drinking water

Amit Srivastava of the India Resource Center in March 8, 2006 reports:

“The Coca-Cola Company is the largest beverage company in the world, and according to its own admission, the company used 283 billion liters of water in 2004. Any way you look at it, 283 billion liters of water is a lot of water-particularly in a world where over 1 billion people in the world cannot meet their basic water needs. It is enough water to meet the entire world’s drinking needs for 10 days! If we use the water that Coca-Cola used in 2004, we could meet the entire drinking needs of people who don’t currently have access to clean drinking water for 47 days!

“To add insult to injury, the Coca-Cola Company doesn’t just stop at extracting 283 billion liters of water. The Coca-Cola Company proudly boasts that it has a water use ratio of 2.7 to 1. That is, for every 2.7 liters of water (freshwater) it takes from the earth, it produces 1 liter of product. What happens to the remaining 1.7 liters (or 63%) of the water? It is used to clean bottles and machinery, and is discarded as wastewater. In a world where one of 5 people does not have access to potable water, it is indeed preposterous that any company could extract such large amounts of life sustaining water, and convert the vast majority of the freshwater into wastewater. Especially given that freshwater is scarce- only 2.5% of all the water in the world is freshwater, the rest being salt water.

“Water is essential to life and the lifeblood of our planet. Without water, we cannot sustain life. Lack of access to clean, drinking water is a reality for over 1.2 billion people- about 20% of the world’s population, and mostly in developing parts of the world. Providing access to potable water remains one of the greatest challenges for the global community today.”

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