Water shortages threaten the beer supply

March 17, 2014
Most of what goes into a glass of beer is water and even more water is used to irrigate the hops and barley that make the beer. Miller Coors talks about planning for a world without plentiful water sources.

Most of a glass of beer is water, and the quality of the water is important, which is why brewers emphasize the pristine quality of the spring, lake or glacier that supplies their water. Even more water is used to irrigate the hops and barley that go into that beer. A beer like Pilner Urquell, which is brewed in the Czech Republic, will need less water for irrigation that a beer brewed in a dry region, like Carling, which is brewed in South Africa. Faced with the prospect of global water shortages, brewing giant Miller Coors is planning for its future.

In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Miller Coors Director of Sustainability Kim Marotta talked about the company's water conservation strategy:

Today, MillerCoors, along with others in the water-intensive brewing industry, is confirming what scientists and environmentalists already figured out: The golden age of cheap, seemingly limitless supplies of fresh water is at an end, even in the world's most developed nations.

"No water, no beer," says Kim Marotta, who oversees water policies at MillerCoors.

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