Marking the culmination of World Water Week 2021, and as part of PepsiCo’s ‘Winning with Purpose’ philosophy, PepsiCo India and Alternative Development Initiatives (ADI) recently launched a rejuvenated wastewater pond in Sangrur, Punjab.
The rejuvenated wastewater pond was inaugurated by Adarsh Pal Vig, Chairman, Punjab Pollution Control Board; S. Ranjeet Singh, Sarpanch, Bijalpur; Rajinder Nijjar from Alternative Development Initiatives (ADI) and Juhi Gupta, Head of Sustainability from PepsiCo India.
PepsiCo India and ADI together to save water for future
The program complements the effort of the Punjab government in cleaning the community ponds, collecting household wastewater, and using the treated wastewater for irrigation purposes, reducing the burden of depleting freshwater sources. This initiative will bring in more area under agriculture, as the wastewater pond will have water available round the year irrespective of climatic variability, PepsiCo India said.
Speaking at the occasion, Vig said, “Disposal of wastewater in the ponds is a major public health concern as the stagnant water leads to bad smell and spread of many diseases. There is an emerging need for water restoration and preservation leading to multiple benefits including groundwater recharging, environmental regeneration, and livelihood at the local level.”
Ahmed ElSheikh, president, PepsiCo India, said, “Through our watershed conservation approach, we have adopted watersheds around our manufacturing plants. Our plan is to drive positive water impact across four key areas: recharge and conservation, agricultural development, livelihood enhancement, and community and gender empowerment.”
“We are positive that our partnership with ADI will not only help the local farmers and the communities but will also accelerate the process of achieving the long-term goal of improving water security in the region.”
“In partnership with PepsiCo India, we did a detailed baseline assessment of the area, and after months of studying and analysis of variables like agricultural patterns and groundwater level; and post several rounds of consultation with the local communities, we zeroed in on the current project.“
“Through continuous awareness and capacity building sessions with the community on water recycling, conservation & management, we also brought about a behavioral change amongst the villagers to segregate the waste for treatment and shift over to ‘fixed point collection/deposition of solid waste‘ through innovative community actions,“ said Rajinder Nijjar.
In addition to the wastewater pond at Bijalpur, PepsiCo India, along with its partner, Alternative Development Initiatives, has in total rejuvenated 15 rainwater harvesting structures in Sangrur, Punjab. The entire initiative has enabled groundwater recharge of 436 million liters. This program will further benefit 700 farmers across 15 villages, positively impacting 34000 community members across the state of Punjab.