As California continues to wrestle with having enough water to support its population, we must remember that 750 million people around the world lack access to clean drinking water every day. During the 22nd annual World Water Day Global Summit 2015 last month governments, companies and NGOs came together to raise awareness of water related issues with an emphasis on conservation in developing countries and management for the future – very timely.
Here is a glimpse of the current state:
- 750 million people lack access to clean water
- 82% of those who lack access to water live in rural areas
- Diarrhea caused by inadequate hygiene/drinking water kills an estimated 842,000 people ever year
- 2,300 people are dying every day from diarrhea
- Major water conservation issues are also taking place in the U.S., California announced a mandatory 25% cutback in water consumption in all cities in response to their current drought
As a result of these alarming numbers, companies around the world are stepping up and making commitments to water and sustainability issues. Below are 5 companies who have taken a stance on water and are committed to providing water to those living in developing nations.
1. Bank of America and Water.org
On March 23rd, Bank of America and Water.org partnered to provide clean water and opportunity in Southern India. The $1 million grant will empower 100,000 people in southern India to obtain safe water and sanitation solutions, accelerating positive change in their homes and communities. This will be achieved through a Water.org program, WaterCredit, which enables people in need to access small loans for water connections and toilets.
2. P&G 10 Years of Providing Clean Drinking Water
P&G’s clean water initiative had its 10 year anniversary on World Water Day 2015. P&G’s Pur clean water technology has helped bring clean water to over 75 countries to help keep families healthy and capable of going to work, school, and attending daily tasks.
In November 2014 Kohler announced that they received grant money from the Gates Foundation to fund the development of 5 different types of closed looped toilet systems for developing countries. These toilets would be able to work in rural areas that are “off the grid,” therefore addressing the issue of sanitation and water in rural areas of developing countries.
After 2 years of research, Kohler and Catlech are sending their solar-powered toilet heads from Pasadena, CA to Delhi, India for the Gates Foundation Reinvent the Toilet Challenge, an initiative to bring sustainable sanitation solutions to the 2.5 billion people worldwide who don’t have access to save, affordable sanitation.
The H&M Conscious Foundation and WaterAid are working together on a three-year global program that will bring safe water, hygiene and toilets to 250,000 of the world’s poorest students. The goal is to work in collaboration with the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030.
The Conrad N Hilton Foundation has awarded international non-profit WaterAid a total of $6.9 million, which will help provide 151,000 people access to safe, clean water in health centers, schools and rural communities. The countries of focus for this grant are Ghana, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.