PepsiCo’s Continuing WASH Efforts in India

The PepsiCo Foundation’s water-related giving revolves around two key issues—access and sustainability. The foundation dedicates about 25 percent of its annual giving to WASH for those ends. The beverage giant’s most recent award is a $1.7 million grant to longtime partner Safe Water Network.

Pepsi and Safe Water’s funding relationship began in 2008. Since then, Pepsi has awarded Safe Water over $5 million in grants to support its water and sanitation efforts in India and Ghana. Pepsi’s latest $1.7 million give is directed to Safe Water’s work in the Warangal District of Telangana, India, where local water sources contain dangerous levels of fluoride and microbial contaminants.

It’s a pretty well known fact that consuming water loaded with microbial contaminants can lead to a slew of debilitating illnesses ranging from cholera to typhoid. Less well known is that consuming water containing dangerous levels of fluoride can lead to disruption of the endocrine system, lowered thyroid function, and increased infertility. (This explains why anti-water fluoridation campaigns have often gotten traction in the U.S.)

Pepsi’s grant supports the costs of building a new water station, which will remove impurities and decrease the current high levels of fluoride in the region’s drinking water. Pepsi has already supported a number of Safe Water Network water stations in India and Ghana, providing over 200,000 people across nearly 70 communities with safe water from a sustainable source.

The PepsiCo Foundation’s ongoing support of the Safe Water Network aligns with the foundation’s two major water related issues—access and sustainability. Foundation-wide, Pepsi awards approximately $25 million in grants annually, with around 25 percent of that money going to water-related causes and partnering with some pretty heavy-hitting WASH outfits like Water.org.

Related: Water.org's Funding Hotstreak Continues. What's its Secret Weapon?

Pepsi doesn’t look to WASH organizations exclusively when it comes to supporting worthy WASH causes. A few years ago, the foundation became the first private donor of the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) AquaFund program. Pepsi gave IDB $5 million to AquaFund’s Hydro-BID systems, which aimed to create a large-scale water resource management modeling tool in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Related: PepsiCo’s Water Partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank is Making Progress