DB is committed to improving the way it uses water and making a positive contribution to the waterways around its breweries and cidery. We believe that evidence-based action is critical, and so in 2019, we set out to better understand the risks and opportunities related to the upstream and downstream catchments for our Waitemata Brewery through a source water vulnerability assessment. The brewery sources water from Auckland’s municipal supply, which is mainly drawn from dams in the Hūnua and Waitākere Ranges. Waste water from the site is discharged to the Mangere waste water treatment plant, while stormwater from the site runs into the Tamaki Estuary.

The assessment was guided by the Alliance for Water Stewardship Framework, which aims to drive environmental, social and economic benefits at the catchment. It involved a thorough review of our onsite water use and discharge, as well as investigating water risks in the wider catchment area. We also spoke to key stakeholders from regulatory agencies, national conservation bodies, and industry and community groups to understand what past and current activities have been put in place to address water concerns in the catchment, and where DB could have the most impact.

The assessment highlighted several relevant issues including:

  • increasing production volumes at the brewery leading to increased water use
  • increasing future demand on Auckland’s water supply
  • water quality concerns in the Tamaki Estuary due to industrial activities, stormwater runoff from urban areas, wastewater discharges, contaminant leaching from closed landfills and discharges from marinas
  • water quality and quantity issues in areas where raw ingredients (hops and barley) are sourced.

The assessment reinforced the importance of the actions we are already taking to reduce water consumption in production, which will help mitigate current and future supply challenges in Auckland’s municipal supplies. It also identified a number of potential partnerships and initiatives that could be implemented to address issues related to water quality within the catchment and scarcity concerns within the wider Auckland region and our extended value chain. Our next step will include further scoping of these opportunities to understand their feasibility and potential impact.