On World Water Day, March 22, Xylem Inc. announced new efforts to accelerate the development and implementation of solutions to growing global water crises. A global water technology company, Xylem participated in the White House Water Summit, which the U.S. government hosted to raise awareness of water issues and potential solutions to build a sustainable water future.
Xylem announced its intention to invest at least $300 million in water-focused research and development activities through 2018. These efforts will encompass development of innovative technologies and systems as well as the exploration of new business models to address the rapidly evolving global water needs and challenges of the 21st century.
The company will also support external research activities to drive progress. In collaboration with the U.S. Water Partnership and with technical input from other public and private partners, Xylem will issue a new national water-innovation challenge with funding of $50,000, focused on the broad themes of growing demand for water, protecting cities from flood and drought and protecting water resources. In addition, Xylem will support the efforts of the Everglades Foundation and the George Barley Water Prize by providing Xylem analytical instrumentation and technical expertise to support field evaluations in the final phase of this multi-year science contest. This contest seeks to identify a solution to fresh water nutrient pollution, which impacts fresh water sources in every state in the U.S. and more than 15,000 fresh waterbodies around the world.
Finally, through its water-focused global corporate citizenship initiative Xylem Watermark, Xylem has set a goal of logging 100,000 hours of employee volunteer time over the next three years in a variety of activities to raise funds and awareness of water issues as well as to provide and protect water resources for many of the most vulnerable communities.
“World Water Day is a reminder of the urgency of the water crises people around the world face every day through floods, droughts and disease,” said Patrick Decker, president and CEO of Xylem. “The time to act is now. We are pleased to participate in the White House Water Summit where we will work with others to identify and implement solutions. We look forward to doing the same in countries around the world. Collaboration is a wonderful and productive way to advance the true spirit of World Water Day.”
Albert Cho, vice president of strategy and business development at Xylem, who attended the White House Water Summit, commented, “Like many countries around the world, the United States faces significant water issues, ranging from aging infrastructure and overstressed water resources to the emerging impacts of climate change. It is critical that we work together to develop a long-term strategy to accelerate adoption of innovative technologies and business models that will support a sustainable and resilient water future.”
These commitments complement other Xylem initiatives designed to advance solutions to the complex water challenges confronting customers and communities across the world. For example, in both China and the Middle East, Xylem is collaborating with leading research institutions to better define the water-energy nexus in order to identify more sustainable practices in water and wastewater management. The company also has partnerships with major customers in Europe and Asia to develop and pilot water treatment and management technologies.
Starting March 22 and extending over the next month, Xylem employees are partnering with their respective local communities in more than 40 Xylem-sponsored “Walk for Water” events. The walks, which will support some of the millions of people who lack regular access to clean, safe water, are scheduled to take place in Brazil, Argentina, Japan, China, Sweden, Switzerland and New York, as well as in numerous other locations where the company has operations.
Xylem Watermark is also sponsoring Planet Water Foundation’s Project 24, a project to build 24 clean water filtration systems (AquaTowers) that will supply the daily drinking water requirements in 24 communities across five countries - in just 24 hours. Xylem Watermark is funding towers in India, Cambodia, Columbia and the Philippines, and will have 24 employees on these sites to assist in the construction. Planet Water Foundation, a long-time non-profit partner of Watermark, is focused on bringing clean water to the world's most disadvantaged communities through the installation of community-based water filtration systems and providing education programs on water-health and hygiene.
Source: Xylem Inc.