Nestlé is aiming at reducing its water usage at its five water bottling plants and four facilities where food or petcare products are manufactured in California.

The company is working on converting its plant in the city of Modesto into a ‘zero water’ factory similar to the plant it opened in Mexico that extracts all the water it needs from the milk it uses for producing dairy products.

Around $7m has been invested in the project that is set to be finished by the end of next year.

Upon completion, the project will help the company save almost 63 million gallons (238,000 cubic metres) of water annually that is equal to 71% of absolute withdrawals in 2014.

Nestlé’s head of operations José Lopez said: "Technology we have already deployed successfully elsewhere in the world to help address the challenges of water scarcity will improve our water use efficiency, relieving pressure on California’s water resources."

Its factories in Bakersfield and Tulare have succeeded in saving more than 26 million gallons (100,000 cubic metres) of water every year that has reduced the plants’ annual withdrawals by 12%.

The company will be able to save nearly 55 million gallons of water (208,000 cubic metres) a year due to this year’s investment to reduce water usage in the Nestlé Waters’ bottling plants in California.

While Nestlé Waters has installed two wind turbines at its bottling plant in Cabazon, California, it is als considering coming up with more measures to further reduce water usage.

"Our water bottling operations in California have come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks. We are focused on how to adapt our bottling and our manufacturing operations, and our supply chain, to make them more resilient and more resistant to drought conditions.

"We will test innovative solutions, prove they are efficient and effective and will share what we learn with others," added Lopez.

Image: Nestlé’s milk factory in the city of Modesto, California. Photo: courtesy of Nestlé.