July 22, 2013

The Pentair Foundation Supports its 2nd Community Water System in India

A father and his sons fill-up safe water containers specially designed to reduce recontamination.

Safe Water Network launched a new site in Padmaram, in the Mahaboobnagar District of India on June 3rd of this year. Funded by The Pentair Foundation, this initiative is providing safe water access to approximately 2,300 people who were suffering from water-related diseases due to the high levels of nitrates and fluoride in the ground water. 

The site is part of Safe Water Network's broader initiative to develop locally owned and managed water systems that can be broadly replicated by others. It also builds upon Safe Water Network's field projects throughout India that will serve over 200,000 by year end, including a previous site funded by Pentair in Kureb, Uttar Pradesh. 

"We were are very pleased to collaborate with Safe Water Network on the Padmaram site," says Mukund Vasudevan, Pentair India's managing director. "Through efforts like this, Pentair will continue its commitment to find ways to provide safe, clean water to those in need. I look forward to a day when the capabilities are present in the region for many communities to own and operate their water systems successfully for generations to come." 

Making an Impact at the Local Level
A key aspect of Safe Water Network's approach to developing local capability is to engage community leaders in decision making from day one. "Our people have suffered for many years because of the water here," says Pratap Reddy, a member of the local legislative assembly (MLA). "With the help of Safe Water Network and its partners like Pentair, we now have an opportunity to control our own destiny to ensure that we can provide safe, affordable water to our community." 

Safe water transforms lives in communities and the launch of a water station often makes an immediate impact. According to Govu Mogulaiah, a local farmer in Padmaram, "Now that safe water is available in our village, some of the workers are already bringing it to drink in the fields during the hot days. I believe that this year's harvest will be bigger than ever because many of us will be healthy drinking safe water." 

Scaling Local Success
The Padmaram site is part of a broader initiative to cluster systems in a region, anchored by a lead village and support services that cost-effectively address the ongoing operational and maintenance requirements for sustainability. We are advancing this work with key stakeholders in India including Merck & Co, the Pepsi Foundation and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). 

Padmaram and our nearby sites benefit from the NABARD-supported network of local watershed development committees. These committees provide the land and building for the sites, plus access to a water source. As an established local organization, these committees play an important role in the governance of the system. Leveraging NABARD's local networks will enable Safe Water Network to use existing infrastructure to develop the community capability to own and operate water systems long-term. 

Over the next three years, Safe Water Network will work with communities in this region to build twelve sites, providing safe water to 30,000 people. These additional systems and the support needed to develop the local capability to keep them running will be financially underwritten by several organizations, foundations and private-sector companies. 

For more information on Safe Water Network's partnerships to develop locally owned and managed water systems in India, contact Poonam Sewak, psewak@safewaternetwork.com


Over the next three years, Safe Water Network will work with communities in this region to build twelve sites, providing safe water to 30,000 people.