Making a Mark With Water
American water technology company Xylem works to mitigate pollution to provide safe drinking water and ensure its sustainable use.
The United Nations World Water Development Report 2018 says that the global demand for water has been increasing at the rate of about one percent per year over the past decades because of factors like population growth and economic development. The report adds, “The vast majority of the growth in demand for water will occur in countries with developing or emerging economies.”
In such a scenario, it is imperative to find ways to use the available water more efficiently. Smart water technology is, thus, getting increasing attention from organizations and researchers around the globe. New York-headquartered Xylem is one such technology provider. It enables customers worldwide to transport, treat and test water in different settings.
One of the over 150 countries where Xylem works to provide safe drinking water and tackle other water management issues is India. “Solving water problems in India is a key priority for Xylem,” says H. Balasubramaniam, managing director at Xylem India. “At present, Xylem India has technology center campuses in Vadodara and Bengaluru; a state-of-the-art assembly and testing facility in Vadodara; and sales offices in Bengaluru, Noida, Thane and Pune.”
He emphasizes that the company’s products and services span the entire cycle of water, from watershed to public utility to end-user and back again. “We move, treat, analyze, monitor and return water to the environment, serving the public utility, industrial, residential and commercial building services sectors,” he says. “Our innovative technologies, equipment and expertise help water operators manage water more effectively. [This] helps make water more affordable and accessible, and communities more resilient and water-secure.”
Energy generation from water is also part of Xylem’s smart technology solutions. “Xylem has supported green, renewable hydropower around the world for over 35 years via a family of submersible turbines,” says Balasubramaniam. “Designed for small hydro plants, our turbines are extremely adaptable, require low initial investment, offer long lifetime and reliability, and require little superstructure.”
Xylem and Planet Water Foundation, its nongovernmental organization (NGO) partner, work closely to provide safe water access and hygiene education to schools, communities and households across India. Together, they have installed local water systems that are providing clean drinking water to around 116,000 people.
As part of its corporate citizenship program, called Watermark, Xylem has collaborated with Planet Water Foundation and Manchester City Football Club to build clean water filtration towers at two government primary schools in Bengaluru. “The organizations, along with local Cityzens Giving NGO partner Magic Bus, teamed up to deliver training to young leaders, with a focus on how education on water hygiene and sanitation can be taught through football,” says Balasubramaniam.
Xylem also works with NGO partner Water for People in West Bengal to promote the development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services for communities in need. With the help of Xylem Watermark grants and volunteers, Water for People has provided reliable and safe water service to about 400,000 people in the state.
Ranjita Biswas is a Kolkata-based journalist. She also translates fiction and writes short stories.