• The project comes as Levi Strauss & Co is taking a more targeted approach to water management, recognising that certain parts of the world – and its supply chain – require greater action than others.
Levi Strauss will work to identify and diagnose sources of water stress in the Ravi River basin

Levi Strauss will work to identify and diagnose sources of water stress in the Ravi River basin

Denim giant Levi Strauss & Co is working on a project to restore the Ravi River basin in Pakistan as part of wider plans to halve the amount of water used for manufacturing in areas of high water stress.

The project is a collaboration with non-profit organisations World Wildlife Fund, Earth Genome and Arizona State University (ASU) to identify and diagnose sources of water stress in the Ravi River basin, surrounding Lahore, Pakistan. 

Using a mapping tool developed by Earth Genome and ASU, local stakeholders can leverage findings on water levels, supply and demand, and forecasted stress to bring the basin back into balance.

It comes as the company is shifting from a singular "one-size-fits-all" strategy to water management in sourcing countries to a more responsive approach that sets stringent standards for supplier facilities and allows it to focus reduction efforts where they are needed most.

Announced last week, the move builds on work done through its Water<Less and reuse and recycling programmes and should help the company reduce its water use in water-stressed areas such as India and Pakistan by 50% by 2025.

Levi Strauss acknowledges its goals are ambitious, but says joining forces with big corporations as well as local governments, vendors and NGOs will help "drive investment in large-scale interventions while protecting those most affected by water scarcity where we operate."

In addition, the jeans-maker is open-sourcing its water strategy so that others can utilise the same approaches.

"Our water strategy is based on our conviction that water stewardship must be done in the context of where water is scarce – after all, a litre of water in a drought-prone area like Lahore is a lot more valuable than where water is plentiful," the company says. "The ultimate goal is to replicate this model beyond the Ravi River, inspire collective action and ensure there's plenty of water to go around."