From ending hunger to slowing climate change, water will play a vital role in meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Find out how Xylem Watermark and its partners are working to help communities solve water-related problems around the world.
Xylem Watermark was founded in 2008 as Xylem’s corporate citizenship and social investment program. So far, Xylem Watermark and its six nonprofit partners have provided clean water and sanitation solutions to nearly three million people in 25 countries.
Here are a few of the important projects Xylem Watermark and its partners have been working on recently.
1. Disaster relief
In the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, Xylem Watermark partnered with humanitarian aid organization Mercy Corps to provide food, clean water, shelter supplies and funds to over 135,000 people in the area. This year, Watermark and Mercy Corps have helped provide 2 million liters of drinking water to drought sufferers in the Horn of Africa, and are now helping to increase water supply to Syrian refugees and their hosts in Jordan.
2. Combatting water-borne illness
In partnership with Planet Water Foundation, Xylem Watermark volunteers helped fund and build numerous AquaTowers at schools and communities in India, Cambodia, Columbia and the Philippines. The AquaTowers are clean water filtration systems supporting the daily drinking requirements for 1,000 people. During construction, volunteers use a fun and interactive curriculum to teach school children about germs and hygiene. This enormously successful program has decreased diarrheal episodes in participants by 80 percent – compared to a 27 percent increase in non-participants.
3. Sanitation and mentoring
Xylem Watermark volunteers and donors also teamed up recently with partner Water for People, in a project to bring drinking water and toilet blocks to community schools in West Bengal, India. Part of the project included an educational program using a “train-the-trainer” method to engage local leaders to serve as role models and mentors in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) issues. With EarthEcho International, Watermark volunteers carry out water monitoring projects in local communities to teach children about the importance of protecting local water sources.
4. WASH around the world
In China, Xylem Watermark worked together with the China Women’s Development Foundation to provide clean water filtration systems and WASH education to three schools in Baoshan City, and similar projects were implemented in cooperation with Watermark partner Fundación Avina in Brazil.
5. Xylem employee engagement
Xylem Watermark also engages Xylem employees in water-related volunteer projects and fundraising across the globe. One example is Walks for Water, where Xylem employees walk three to five kilometers to raise money for water projects. The Walks also raise awareness of the long journey women make every day carrying water in dry, remote areas.
Through the new interactive employee engagement website, MyWatermark, Xylem colleagues can join up to donate money or volunteer for WASH projects around the world. To date, $2.5 million has been raised in employee contributions, including Xylem matched donations. Over 2,000 employees have volunteered in water-related projects, and employee volunteer hours increased by 330 percent over the past year. The company’s goal is to log 100,000 hours of employee volunteer time over the next three years.