The Coca-Cola Company and its global bottling partners has announced that they will achieve their goal of 100% replenishment of the water used by them by the end of the year, five years ahead of the previously set deadline.

The project is aimed at ensuring that the company has sufficient water to fulfill its needs and reassure its customers concerned about drought in California, US, and elsewhere.

The company announced that it had been able to return around 94% of the water used in its finished beverages to local communities last year.

"The Coca-Cola system has a special responsibility to protect this shared resource."

Coca-Cola had embarked on a goal of returning an amount of water equal to what it uses in the production of its beverages to the communities and nature in 2007. The company had planned to achieve its goal through various locally focused community water projects by 2020.

Each project focuses on set objectives, including providing or enhancing access to safe water and sanitation, protecting watersheds, supporting water conservation and raising awareness on critical local water issues.

The company said in a statement that it had replenished approximately 153.6 billion litres of water back to communities and nature through 209 community water projects in 61 countries since 2004 and had returned around 126.7 billion litres of water used in its manufacturing processes through treated wastewater last year.

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Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent said: "There is no resource more precious to human life and the health of our global ecosystems and economies than water.

"As a consumer of water, the Coca-Cola system has a special responsibility to protect this shared resource. This is why we set an aspirational goal of being water neutral by 2020.

"While we have made significant progress toward making that goal a reality, we are more intent than ever to give back the equivalent of all the water that we use to communities and nature."

Image: Coca-Cola had originally planned to replenish 100% of the water used by it by 2020. Photo: courtesy of the Coca-Cola company.