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Water woes force big brewers to tighten the tap

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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Some of the largest brewers in the U.S. are trying to reduce their water-to-beer ratio as drought and wildfire threaten the watersheds where they draw billions of gallons every year.

No independent group tracks beer-makers' water usage, but MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch both say they have made reductions.

MillerCoors released a sustainability report Wednesday that shows it has cut its water use by 9.2 percent from 2012.

MillerCoors is focusing its water-saving effort in Texas, California and Colorado. It involves changing irrigation techniques used by its hops and barley farmers

The Chicago-based company's sustainability chief, Kim Marotta, says MillerCoors realized in 2008 that three of its eight breweries relied on water in the three states, where supplies were already stretched.

Brewers tap public watersheds, building dams to form their own reservoirs.

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