May 4, 2023

Mars & Waterplan

Mars joined hands with Waterplan to better understand its exposure to different water-related risks and receive guidance in achieving its water stewardship objectives.

The Challenge

Given that rice feeds half of the world's population, climate change and its adverse environmental impacts threatens global food supplies. The global water crisis, characterized by a number of challenges such as water scarcity, flooding, deteriorating water quality, and the disappearance of critical aquatic ecosystems, is having a significant financial impact on the global rice industry and its production. Recent examples include the severe drought and alarming low water levels of reservoirs across Spain in the summer of 2022, causing the loss of numerous rice fields. Similarly, over the summer of 2022, the worst drought to have hit Italy in 70 years took over half of some farmers’ harvest across the country’s golden rice triangle.

Furthermore, rice is one of the most water-intensive commodities worldwide, requiring more than twice the average irrigation needs of most other crops. It is the world’s primary crop and food staple, accounting for 40% of all global irrigated water usage. Thus, the agricultural sector and rice-producing industries are key players in accelerating the transition toward a water-secure world.


Mars Food has partnered with Waterplan to evaluate the water-related risks to their raw material suppliers, more specifically rice, as well as help them achieve their context-based water targets. Waterplan conducted an analysis of different regions.

Mars is committed to becoming a responsible water steward by improving water efficiency and eliminating unsustainable water use across its value chain. Around 99% of their water use is associated with crops and livestock, therefore, by targeting the highly water-intensive rice market, Mars Food has placed its trust in Waterplan to help build its resiliency to water-related challenges and achieve its long-term ambitions for sustainable water use.

The Solution

Waterplan’s revolutionary technology – Waterplan has developed a state-of-the-art data-driven platform to provide high-resolution water risk data for specific locations, which are updated on a periodic basis. The risk framework used includes a combination of remote sensing, hydrologic modeling, machine learning, local data, and automated media analysis. 

Waterplan’s platform helped Mars Food receive a scalable and cost-effective way to monitor and measure risk across multiple locations, ultimately guiding Mars into making data-driven decisions to reach its sustainability goals.

A successful journey towards water stewardship – By working together with Mars Food, Waterplan has managed to determine the least favorable and most suitable locations, from a water perspective, to source rice from. The candidate locations stood out because of their favorable environmental conditions for growing rice as well as their more structured and consolidated land management system, which allows for new technologies and water-saving practices to be applied and monitored more easily. 

Thanks to the multiple tools and outputs generated by the platform, including the water risk analysis, quantification of the risk indicators and their financial impact, water analytics and the scenario’s builder, Mars is now able to regularly monitor and measure the situation across different sourcing locations. As Mars Food continues to work towards its context-based water targets, Waterlpan will continue to accompany Mars in its water stewardship journey as it continues to work towards its long-term ambitions. 


Mars, Incorporated operates a diverse and expanding portfolio of confectionery,food, and petcare products and services.

Commitment to sustainability

Mars is fully engaged in improving water efficiency across its value chain.  “Mars’ water stewardship goal is to halve our gap to unsustainable water usage levels by 2025 and ensure water use in each watershed in our value chain is within annually renewable levels in the long term”.