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Two years ago, executives at Levi Strauss & Co. analyzed the effects of climate change on their business and realized the consequences could be dire. Declining water supplies and increasing temperatures in India, Pakistan and other countries that produce cotton–the company’s core ingredient–could spell disaster for the San Francisco-based clothing manufacturer. “We needed to be sensitive to risks that would influence the price, yield and quality of that vital material,” says Anna Walker, senior manager of worldwide government affairs and public policy at Levi Strauss. What was needed, Walker and her colleagues figured, was a way to improve the efficiency of agricultural water use.

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