For more than a century, Topo Chico has offered free water to the local community via, 24/7 tap outside its Monterrey plant. It’s one of many ways the Coca-Cola system in Mexico is providing sustainable water access to those in need.
Since 1895, Topo Chico has been bottled at its source—the Cerro Del Topo Chico spring nestled in an industrial area of Monterrey, Mexico.
In addition to producing and packaging the beloved sparkling mineral water, the plant has provided clean drinking water, free of charge, to local families through an outdoor faucet. The 24/7 resource was highly utilized in 2022 when Monterrey suffered a historic drought as soaring temperatures and consecutive months without rain dried up dams and aquifers, triggering a city-wide water shortage that hit low-income areas like the more than 400-year-old Topo Chico neighbourhood, especially hard.
“But this is not something that came about because of the drought—it has been here since the beginning,” clarified César Adrián Espinosa Mancinas, Coca-Cola Mexico’s senior sustainability manager. “When we see people lined up to fill their water tanks, they are so thankful. They see that we’re working to be part of the solution.”
The measure is a small, hyper-local example of The Coca-Cola Company’s global framework to increase water security in every local community it serves.
“In simple words, we want to be good neighbors,” said Vicente Esteban Chávez, communications and sustainability manager for Arca Continental. This Coca-Cola bottler owns and operates the Topo Chico plant. “We do so by looking at the needs of the community and providing solutions to improve the lives and futures of our neighbors and their children. Here in Monterrey, it’s water. Making a positive impact and delivering shared value to my community makes me proud to come to work every day.”
To help address local water shortages, the Monterrey-based Arca Continental is working with government and industry partners to rehabilitate 15 wells to expand water access to families throughout the city of 6 million people. The bottler, The Coca-Cola Company, and The Coca-Cola Foundation are also partnering with Isla Urbana to install 100 rainwater harvesting systems in schools across Mexico.
A school adjacent to the Topo Chico plant served as the pilot. In addition to installing rainwater catchment systems to cover most of the school’s water needs, the collaboration hosts workshops with teachers, students and parents to empower the school population to maintain the system and drive sustainable results. Students moving to the next grade serve as “water guardians” by passing down what they’ve learned to their younger peers.
“The infrastructure is huge, but education is the most important part of this project because it helps create a positive domino effect in school, at home and throughout the community,” Mancinas said. “Together with our partners, we are fostering a multi-generational culture of conscious and responsible water users. That’s why I truly believe Coca-Cola is helping to make a difference.”