Mar 22, 2016 • By

Healthy water, healthy crops

Every gardener knows it – water is essential to a healthy crop. What might not be as obvious is how dependent that water is on a healthy watershed.

In fact, the water that flows from the garden hose started in a river or an aquifer, which are the same rivers and aquifers that supply water to farmers, communities and nature.

The same is true for the food we buy at the store and take home to enjoy with our families. That food was grown in a farmer’s field, dependent on abundant, good-quality water.

And that is why General Mills today announced a new commitment to develop water stewardship plans by 2025 for priority watersheds throughout our global value chain in tandem with World Water Day and the White House Water Summit, in which we are proud participants.

Additionally, our long term aspiration is to achieve watershed health in those watersheds by 2050.

Our U.S. priorities include the Los Angeles and San Joaquin Watersheds in California, the Snake River basin in Idaho and the Rio Grande watershed in New Mexico.


Canoeing on Silver Creek in The Nature Conservancy’s Silver Creek Preserve, located in south-central Idaho. The preserve draws visitors from all 50 states and more than a dozen countries. The fly fishing is legendary, of course, but the preserve offers many other outdoor activities. (Photo: Mark Godfrey).

Globally, we are looking at water issues in Beijing and Shanghai, China, and we are currently reviewing our global facilities and sourcing regions to determine if we should add other watersheds to our list.

As an example of the work we are doing already, in California we are collaborating with The Nature Conservancy and Sustainable Conservation as well as with several other companies to develop the science and tools that groundwater managers will need to plan a sustainable water future in this water-stressed state.

We’re part of the Ceres Connect the Drops campaign, which makes the connection between healthy water supplies and a vital California economy, and the CEO Water Mandate, which mobilizes business leaders for collective action for water stewardship.

We rely on partners like these because we cannot achieve our goals alone. And we hope that by announcing our commitment, we’ll encourage others to join us.

Together, we can ensure a sustainable water future, not just for farmers growing crops, but also for nature, industry, and communities, including the home gardener watering their own flower beds.

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