Annual report case study - Preserving water for life: how a new drip irrigation system in Turkey is conserving water and improving livelihoods
Preserving water for life: how a new irrigation system in Turkey is conserving water and improving livelihoods
Water is a critical resource, as well as our most important ingredient. It’s why ‘preserving water for life’ remains a priority for us – and why we’ve set such ambitious goals around water, including our goal to replenish more water than we use for our operations across all of our sites in water-stressed areas by 2026.
This year we launched our first water replenishment project in the Alaşehir region of Turkey, at a 60-hectare site we identified as water-stressed in 2021 – a region where some of the grapes used to make Yenì Raki are grown. A changing climate, combined with the use of traditional flood-based irrigation systems for growing grapes, was causing the soil and wells to dry out.
We partnered with technical specialists, local municipalities and a local irrigation cooperative to meet people in the community, whose main source of income is viticulture, and understand their challenges. This led to the installation of a new, more efficient drip irrigation system – improving infrastructure and conserving water. We expect this system to use around 50% less water than the previous flood-based system. And the technique has already enabled us to save over 15,100 cubic metres of water during fiscal 2022.
As well as replenishing water, the project is improving livelihoods in the local community, helping to develop our regenerative agriculture work and further strengthening our relationships with local farmers, municipalities and partners. We plan to take our learnings and expand the programme to more regions in Turkey, as we continue to progress with our goal to replenish more water than we use for our operations by 2026.