When it comes to MillerCoors and water conservation, the company is doing its part by reducing the amount of water used in the beer-making process.

With roots in the Rocky Mountains and close to the shores of Lake Michigan, MillerCoors says it understands the impact of water usage on the environment and how important it is not to waste.

Last year, the company recorded a ratio of 4.11 barrels of water for every barrel of beer produced, according to its 2010 sustainability report.

That was a slight increase from the 2008 numbers, which the company attributed partly to its efforts to combine the beer-producing operations of Miller and Coors. Now that 2010 has arrived, the company says it will focus on finding new ways to optimize its operations.

In fact, MillerCoors says it hopes to decrease the water-to-beer ratio to 3.5 by 2015. The company says in its sustainability report that it is evaluating technology to reduce evaporation rates in breweries and to create water reclamation systems.

Already, the company has three breweries maintaining a water-to-beer ratio of 4.0 and a Texas brewery with a ratio of 3.4, according to the sustainability report.

MillerCoors extends its water conservation efforts past the brewery. The company says in its sustainability report that it wants to build better, more water-sustainable communities. Through a partnership with the Nature Conservancy, MillerCoors has been working towards a long-term plan in water-conservation at the Silver Creek Watershed in Idaho. This would help the barley farmers to be more efficient with its agricultural practices.

MillerCoors takes it one step further to conserve water at a local level. They have teamed up with River Network, a national nonprofit organization, to create a grant competition. Local organizations that focus on watershed quality, education, and conservation are qualified to receive investment and support from the MillerCoors and River Network grant.

In 2010, MillerCoors and the River Network allotted $50,000 of grant money to the following organizations: Thornapple River Watershed Council; Caledonia, MI ($25,000), Dan River Basin Association; Eden, NC ($15,000), Butler Soil and Water Conservation District; Hamilton, Ohio ($5,000), Porter County Soil and Water District; Valparaiso, IN ($1,000), Valley Stewardship Network; Viroqua, WI ($1,000), Gila Watershed Partnership; Safford, AZ ($1,000), Louisiana Environmental Action Network/Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper; Baton Rouge, LA ($1,000), Cumberland River Compact; Nashville, TN ($1,000).

In addition to its commitment to water conservation inside the company, MillerCoors encourages members of the public to take the Water Conservation Challenge. By making a pledge to save water and make an effort to conserve, everyone can be a part of MillerCoors’ crusade for water conservation.

Editor's note: MillerCoors is a Mother Nature Network sponsor.