River Network and Coca-Cola Kick-Off Annual Rain Barrel Program to Save Water

BOULDER, COLORADO April 18, 2016 – The rainwater that falls from your roof after a storm could play an important role in protecting our country’s rivers and streams. In honor of Earth Month (April), River Network, a non-profit organization that exists to support the protection and restoration of rivers and watersheds throughout the United States, has again teamed up with The Coca-Cola Company to launch the 2016 National Rain Barrel Program.

Now in its eighth year, the National Rain Barrel Program provides an easy way for people to reduce water consumption and pollution from stormwater runoff. The program is part of River Network’s online Reduce Your Water Footprint campaign, which educates citizens about the importance of saving water and shares information about local rain barrel making workshops and opportunities to get involved in local community events.

Coca-Cola supports the program by providing repurposed 55-gallon syrup drums which can be converted into rain barrels to collect rainwater that can then be used to water plants and lawns, wash cars, and for other non-drinking uses around the home. Since 2008, Coca-Cola has given away more than 84,000 syrup drums to watershed conservation groups, municipalities and schools for installing rain barrels in their communities.

“To achieve a sustainable water future, we need more people and communities to be actively engaged in taking care of their rivers and reducing their water footprints. It is inspiring that Coca-Cola is donating so many rain barrels on a national scale and driving excitement among local communities,” says Lexi Meek, Community Engagement Manager at River Network.

During Earth Month, River Network and Coca-Cola will support rain barrel making workshops in ten different communities across the country. Rain barrel making workshops will be held in Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas.

“Rain barrels are a tangible and effective way to inspire change to preserve our water resources,” explains Jon Radtke, Water Resources Director, Coca-Cola North America. “Working with our local partners, we can encourage communities to save water drop by drop, barrel by barrel, and replenish a significant amount of water back into nature.”

River Network hopes to bring the National Rain Barrel Program to 26 communities across the U.S. over the next year. For more information or to find an upcoming rain barrel event near you, visit www.rivernetwork.org/get-involved/reduce-your-water-footprint.

Water advocates can learn more at the 2016 River Rally conference

River Network and Coca-Cola will host a workshop at the national River Rally conference May 20-23 in Mobile, Alabama. The workshop, titled “How to Build a Rain Barrel Program,” will train water advocates on ways to bring rain barrels and water conservation education program into their communities. For more information about the 2016 River Rally, visit www.riverrally.org.

For more information, contact:

Victoria Yu, Membership and Operations Associate, River Network