PepsiCo Beverages North America Announces Funding for Salt River Project’s Resilient Water and Forest Project in the Verde River Watershed

Forests restored by the project help create resilient water supplies for the Phoenix metropolitan area

PURCHASE, N.Y., August 24, 2023— Today, PepsiCo Beverages North America (PBNA) announced a commitment of funds to the Salt River Project (SRP) Resilient Water and Forest Restoration Project in the Verde River watershed, one of Arizona’s most important waterways. The project focuses on restoring forest structure, composition, and function in a 1,450-acre area of the watershed that supplies water to the Phoenix metropolitan area. Many parts of the watershed are at high risk of wildfire, the occurrence of which would harm SRP’s ability to provide resilient water to the Phoenix community. Other partners on the project include the U.S. Forest Service, Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, Arizona Sportsman for Wildlife Conservation, and Conservation First USA. PBNA has committed $250,000 to the project.

“We are thankful to PepsiCo Beverages for their investment in our restoration project,” said Elvy Barton, Water and Forest Sustainability Manager of Salt River Project. “Through this partnership, we’ll see an increase in our local ecosystem’s water supply, overall helping make water supplies to the Phoenix metropolitan area more resilient.”

The project area encompasses the burn scar from the 1990 Dude Fire, a high-severity wildfire that occurred near Payson, Arizona, which led to the widespread destruction of forests in the Verde River watershed. In many areas that were burned, land that was previously forest has since been repopulated by an overabundance of small shrubs and trees. These trees and shrubs contribute to unhealthy watershed conditions and their water usage reduces water supplies to the Verde River ecosystem. The project area is at great risk for another high-severity wildfire that would have devastating effects on water infrastructure and could impair SRP’s ability to provide reliable water supplies to downstream communities.

Restoration of these areas aims to help prevent another devastating wildfire in headwater areas by decreasing tree and undergrowth density and by removing fuels from the project area. These efforts intend to also reduce evapotranspiration from the Verde River basin, increasing the volume of water that is available for local ecosystems and communities downstream.

Restoring parts of the Verde River watershed presents an opportunity to repair the damage that has already been caused and to improve watershed function to enhance SRP’s ability to provide resilient water supplies for the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Additionally, the restoration of these forests aims to enhance wildlife habitat, preserve recreational assets, protect communities and infrastructure, and prevent devastating post-wildfire flooding.

These restoration efforts help to drive progress towards PepsiCo’s ambitious pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) 2030 Net Water Positive vision, which includes reducing absolute water use and replenishing back into the local watershed more than 100% of the water used in high water-risk areas.

PepsiCo’s industry-leading water sustainability efforts were recognized earlier this year with the 2023 Industrial Water Reuse Champions Award by WateReuse Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Veolia, and the University of Pennsylvania Water Center for its best-in-class water recycling and reuse programs inside and outside its plants. The award is recognition of PepsiCo’s progress to achieve its ambitious water sustainability goals, including best-in-class water-use efficiency in 100% of PepsiCo and third-party high water-risk manufacturing sites by 2030, and world-class water-use efficiency in all other manufacturing sites by 2030.

To learn more about PepsiCo pep+ sustainability transformation, visit

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $86 billion in net revenue in 2022, driven by a complimentary beverage and convenient foods portfolio that includes Lay's, Doritos, Cheetos, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Quaker, and SodaStream. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including many iconic brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Beverages and Convenient Foods by Winning with pep+ (PepsiCo Positive). pep+ is our strategic end-to-end transformation that puts sustainability and human capital at the center of how we will create value and growth by operating within planetary boundaries and inspiring positive change for the planet and people. For more information, visit, and follow on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn @PepsiCo.

About SRP

SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest electricity provider in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving approximately 1.1 million customers. SRP provides water to about half of the Phoenix metropolitan area residents, delivering more than 244 billion gallons of water (750,000 acre-feet) each year, and manages a 13,000-square-mile watershed that includes an extensive system of reservoirs, wells, canals and irrigation laterals.

Media Contact:

SRP Media Contact:

Patty Garcia-Likens

(602) 245-0047


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