Diageo, a leading premium drinks company, donated more than 34,000 bottles of drinking water to residents of Tulare County, who are among the hardest hit by California’s severe drought. The donation comes as the state confronts one of the worst droughts on record, with many towns facing the prospect of running out of drinking water in the next 60 to 90 days.
Diageo facilitated the delivery of 34,560 bottles of water – enough to fill a semi truck – to the Friends of Tulare County, one of the counties facing severe water shortages as a result of the drought.
“We are grateful for Diageo’s support during the drought,” said Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway (R-Tulare).
“While residents are doing everything in their power to conserve water, we need more partners like Diageo to lend a helping hand as our communities struggle with the effects of extreme drought.”
Some residents of Central California’s Tulare County have not had running water in months because their wells have dried up, and they are wholly dependent on bottled water. A portion of the water from Diageo is being immediately deployed specifically to the East Porterville area of Tulare County, where officials learned yesterday that one particular well which serviced approximately 100 residents has completely dried up. With no rain in sight, and a drought that has already reached record-breaking levels, the local Office of Emergency Services is in place to provide water relief.
“Diageo has a long history of giving to communities suffering the effects of natural disasters, and frequently partners with government agencies to bring aid to the communities that need it most,” said Stephenie Shah, senior director of government relations for Diageo North America. “The California drought has reached tangible and – in locations like Tulare – frightening proportions, and we are glad we were able to bring water to those in need. We hope that our donation helps inspire other companies to donate potable water to residents who are running out of options. This is a critical situation and it is incumbent upon the business community to help those in need.”
This relief effort is part of Diageo’s Spirit of the Americas Humanitarian Aid program. Established in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, the Spirit of the Americas program provides immediate relief and disaster aid in the U.S. and abroad. Diageo employees accompany relief supplies to each crisis zone and help distribute the aid, every step of the way. Relief efforts can include: water, medicine, food, clothing, generators, manpower, etc.
Since 2001, Diageo has provided assistance to more than a dozen states and nearly ten countries outside the U.S. Relief efforts include providing high-capacity generators and distributing almost 85,000 bottles of water after Super Storm Sandy; delivering 50,000 pounds of food and emergency supplies to Haiti-based NGOs after the earthquake and providing more than 150,000 pounds of food, medicine and school supplies to Baghdad.
Diageo’s brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Buchanan’s, Windsor and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff vodka, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.