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India drought hits United Breweries' beer supply

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Heineken's majority-owned Indian brewer, United Breweries, has said it is will look to invest in more waste-water recycling programmes after "acute shortages" forced it to decrease beer production.

India has been hit by high temperatures

India has been hit by high temperatures

The company told just-drinks that it has reduced beer output below peak capacity at its Mangalore brewery due to an ongoing drought in the region. Local authorities have restricted water supplies as temperatures across the country soar above 40 degrees Celsius.

The drought has so far killed 300 people, according to the BBC.

"United Breweries will be looking at further investment into waste water recycle systems in Mangalore to further reduce fresh water consumption," a spokesperson for UB said. "Our efforts to create structures that aid harvesting rainwater and improve the water table in surrounding water-shed will help us make the villagers more self-sufficient and also make surrounding bore-wells more productive."

The Mangalore plant accounts for about 2% of UB's overall production and serves part of the Karnataka state market. The spokesperson said the production restrictions are likely to remain in place until the monsoons begin early June.

Asked if other UB plants have been affected, the spokesperson said: "There is an acute shortage of water in at least two states in the country - Maharashtra and Karnataka. However, similar water saving practices have helped us to avoid significant production loss."

Also this month, Coca-Cola Sabco halted production of canned beverages in Namibia because of drought, according to a report.


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