One in nine people around the world currently lack access to clean water. As communities grapple with the impacts of climate change, economic recessions and public health crises, the need for access to clean, safe water is more crucial than ever. On the sixth annual Imagine a Day Without Water, Ecolab is announcing a partnership with Water.org to help enable access to sustainable water and improved sanitation in at-risk watersheds in India.
Water.org, an organization co-founded by Matt Damon and Gary White, leverages a scalable, microfinance-based model that has mobilized billions in capital to support small loans that bring access to safe water and sanitation to millions of people in need. The Water.org partnership will contribute to Ecolab’s recently announced 2030 Impact Goals, which include having a positive water impact in at-risk watersheds where Ecolab operates. Ecolab is also a co-founding member of the Water Resilience Coalition, an initiative of the United Nations Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate, which calls for industry leaders to set similar goals.
“Our work with the Water Resilience Coalition ultimately focuses on improving the availability, quality and accessibility of water for all,” said Meredith Englund, vice president of water partnerships at Ecolab. “This partnership with Water.org is one tangible way we are taking action to help build community and economic resilience and equitable access to freshwater.”
Ecolab’s contribution to Water.org aims to enable access to sustainable drinking water and improved sanitation for 100,000 people living in poverty in India, while contributing more than 26.4 million gallons of water per year to watershed health in extremely high-stress river basins in which Ecolab operates, including Chennai, Mumbai, Konnagar, Delhi, Baroda, Jamshedpur, Kolkata and Pune.
“Access to clean water and sanitation is still not a reality for hundreds of millions of people in India,” said Vishal Sharma, senior vice president of the India, Middle East & Africa markets for Ecolab. “The need is immense across the country. It’s important for us to play a role driving water and sanitation solutions not only for industry but in the surrounding communities to ensure greater water resilience for India.”
The partnership has three objectives:
- Social responsibility: Supporting communities, families and workers living in areas where Ecolab operates in India.
- Accessibility: Providing equitable access to water, sanitation and hygiene solutions to people living in poverty.
- Quantity: Enabling positive recurring water benefits in high-stress basins and watersheds.
“Access to safe water and sanitation is critical to the health and well-being of families around the world,” said Jennifer Schorsch, president of Water.org. “Ecolab’s partnership comes at a time when health and hygiene are top-of-mind and their support will provide lasting solutions to build more resilient communities in India.”