As part of efforts to tackle the global water crisis, PepsiCo has partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to develop a tool that can be used to forecast the availability of freshwater in water-scarce regions throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, the company announced.

The food and beverage group said this week that the IDB's data management and modeling tool, Hydro-BID, can assist countries with water budgeting and water-resource planning and help policymakers and communities prepare for floods and droughts.

"Contrary to popular belief, floods and droughts are foreseeable phenomena that governments and communities can prepare for," commented Dr. Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm, hydrologist and water resources engineer at the IDB.

Unveiling the tool at the Stockholm International Water Institute's annual World Water Week, PepsiCo said that projects like Hydro-BID can help develop a suite of watershed modeling tools that could be applied worldwide.

According to PepsiCo, Hydro-BID is an open-source modeling tool that has the potential to forecast water availability and supply under virtually any climate, population and land-use scenario. It has already been used to project water supplies in Brazil, Peru, Haiti and Argentina, and is expected to cover more than three million people across the Latin America and Caribbean region by 2017.

PepsiCo is also working to drive water efficiency in its own operations and throughout its supply chain, helping to protect and conserve global water supplies and "future-proof" the business, the company added.