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Quantifying Watershed Restoration Benefits in Community Water Partnership Projects

The Coca-Cola Company; The Nature Conservancy

The Coca-Cola Company is interested in gaining a better understanding of the watershed restoration benefits derived through its Community Water Partnership (CWP) Projects. This report describes the outcomes of an effort to quantify those benefits and advance the development of computational methodologies for this purpose. The work described in this report builds on previous “Phase I” activities described in a full report (LimnoTech and TNC, 2008) and summarized in a White Paper (DePinto, et al., 2009), and updates numbers presented in an August 5, 2009 Phase II report (LimnoTech and TNC, 2009).

For many of the CWP projects reviewed as part of this project, watershed restoration benefits are being realized through multiple activities. To date, a total of 61 activities implemented through 50 CWP projects have been quantified. The remaining projects were not quantified because implementation is still in its early stages, available information was insufficient to make an estimate, or the types of benefits are not quantifiable.

The current estimate is that the projects implemented by the end of 2009 will provide a benefit of approximately 28.8 billion liters/year, representing 21% of the product volume generated by TCCC facilities. Projects implemented by the end of 2013 are estimated to provide a beneficial gain of water of approximately 56.8 billion liters/year, representing 34% of the product volume generated by TCCC facilities. An annual increase in product volume of 5.25% was assumed (per information provided by Greg Koch).

The pollution reduction benefits of these activities were also estimated as part of this exercise. The primary focus of most of the CWP projects that address water quality problems is erosion control, so the reduction in sediment yield was estimated where relevant. The preliminary estimate is that the 61 CWP activities evaluated will reduce sediment load in 2009 by 3,018,392 metric tons/year, increasing to 3,577,769 metric tons by 2013. These reductions will significantly improve the quality of receiving waters in those watersheds.