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Getting The Basics Right: Safe Drinking Water For All

Providing relief for areas most affected by water scarcity and ground water contamination in India

Around 780 million people in the world still lack access to safe drinking water. The United Nations estimates that only one percent of the world's fresh water supply is accessible to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding world population.

Moreover, this need for clean drinking water is growing exponentially. All the demand drivers that augur growth by any other measure, do the reverse when it comes to an already scarce resource like water. Be it rapid urbanization, rise in middle class consumption, reduction in urban-rural disparities, and an increase in purchasing power, more people need and will demand access to the very basic essential, i.e., safe drinking water. Higher purchasing power parity means a shift in consumer behavior. Health implications due to poor water quality, especially in emerging economies, demand improvement in public health that must be the foundation for sustainable economic growth.

One of the many ways that Honeywell is helping provide access to some of those most affected by water shortage and groundwater contamination is through its Safe Water Network initiative in India. Funded by a Honeywell India grant, Safe Water Network (SWN), a not-for-profit organization, is setting up 60 safe water stations to provide safe drinking water access to ~194,000 people. These people belong to regions that suffer acute water scarcity, as well as severe groundwater contamination, including from fluorides and arsenic.

The Honeywell-supported iJal safe water stations are owned, operated, and maintained by local communities; use a world-class multi-stage reverse osmosis treatment system to remove contaminants and dissolved solids; deploy cutting-edge remote monitoring systems and process rigor to ensure less than two percent downtime; and ensure engagement at all levels of the targeted community for social, financial, and environmental sustainability.

Safe Water Network is dedicated to developing affordable and sustainable access to safe water for those who need it most. It has been working alongside communities in Ghana and India since 2008, providing over a quarter of a million people daily access to safe water. In India, the organization collaborates with leaders from both public and private sectors to develop and implement a model that can achieve scale for the millions in need. It applies a business approach to social problems by developing locally-owned water businesses for those beyond the reach of large infrastructure projects.

Honeywell Hometown Solutions, Honeywell’s global citizenship initiative, focuses on five areas: Family Safety & Security, Housing & Shelter, Science & Math Education, Humanitarian Relief, and Sustainability. Together with leading public and nonprofit institutions, Honeywell develops powerful programs to address these needs in the communities it serves.

Quality air and safe drinking water for all, therefore, will continue to be part of Honeywell’s endeavor in working towards a world that is safer and more secure, more comfortable, and productive.

Madhavi Jha