Making Our Mark on the Global Water Crisis
Water covers 70% of our planet, and it is easy to think that it will always be plentiful. However, as the world’s population continues to soar, so does the need for fresh water that makes up only 2.5% of the world’s water supply. The reality today is that the need for clean, safe water for drinking and sanitation far exceeds the readily available amount.
Worldwide, access to improved water and sanitation is limited: 663 million people still lack access to safe water supplies, and 2.4 billion people lack access to improved sanitation (UNICEF/WHO, 2015). For millions of people, lack of water means more than thirst:
- It means disease: At any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene (United Nations, Human Development Report, 2006).
- It means limited time for productive activities like school and work: Women and girls around the world spend over 200 million hours collecting water from distant sources every day (UNICEF, 2016).
- It means lives are cut short: Each day, nearly 2,000 children under the age of 5 die of diarrheal diseases, and 1,800 of those deaths are linked to water, sanitation, and hygiene (UNICEF, 2013).
The need is severe. That’s why Xylem Watermark, Xylem’s corporate citizenship program, was created to provide and protect safe water resources for many of the world's most vulnerable communities and to educate people about water issues. Through Watermark, Xylem works with best-in-class nonprofit partners (Water For People, Planet Water Foundation, Mercy Corps, Fundación AVINA, China Women’s Development Foundation and EarthEcho International) to address the full spectrum of water challenges by providing financial support, water technology, and sanitation and hygiene education.
Xylem employees are the heart of our commitment -- they bring Watermark to life in communities around the world. Together, we have helped to provide clean water and sanitation solutions to more than 2.9 million people worldwide. From educating children about water stewardship and water-related issues, to building gravity-fed water towers that bring clean water to thousands of people, our colleagues around the world are proving that solving water goes well beyond their day-to-day responsibilities. At Xylem, we are making our mark.