The social innovation work of the Columbia Water Centre (CWC) and the PepsiCo Foundation in the field of water security for the rural communities of Ceará, Brazil has been pioneering. The initiative shows the global community that water sustainability cannot be achieved in isolation and that integration of food-energy-climate goals needs to be shared. Ceara's problems are typical of a water-scarce region in the developing world, suffering from droughts and the problems that go with it, such as food insecurity, death of livestock and conflict over scarce water resources. Access to safe drinking water and sanitation is a pressing concern for more than half of the world's population.
Ceara is one of several PepsiCo Foundation-funded projects to improve water security and rural livelihoods, and with CWC, it has been able to engage international and local expertise in engineering, hydrology, agriculture, public policy and finance to test and develop cost effective social innovation solutions for water sustainability. The project has been a model for collaboration from stakeholders in the government, community, and the private sector to ensure the sustainable management of scarce water resources.