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New Delhi, Delhi, India

The US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) today launched a CEO Water Alliance (CEWA) initiative. Founding members include the CEOs of Tata Steel, Cargill India Pvt Ltd, 3M India, WestRock India, PepsiCo India and Nalco Water, an Ecolab company.

CEWA brings together CEOs and other diverse stakeholders by providing a unique platform to address water challenges in India by exchanging best practices; implementing technology solutions; and promoting policies for the sustainable use of water.

Water scarcity is impacting several countries across the globe today. In India, estimates predict that the nation will be water scarce by 2025. It is estimated that $114 billion in annual sustainable water management investments are needed over the next 15 years to ensure availability of this finite resource.

USISPF believes it is a corporate imperative to conserve water for business continuity and for the benefit of local communities in a fast-growing economy like India. USISPF member companies created the CEWA initiative to work toward these goals and align work with the Government of India to establish an effective policy framework that will ensure a sustainable water future for India.

USISPF President and CEO Dr. Mukesh Aghi said, “Water scarcity is a major social and economic problem being faced by all countries. The recent water crisis in Cape Town, South Africa, captured the attention of governments around the world. The need to act, to protect our most coveted natural resource, is now. And industry needs to be a partner to the government on this. USISPF looks forward to working with our member companies, in a spirit of collaboration, to address this serious problem and prepare for a more sustainable future.”

He further added, “The recent spill of molasses from a sugar mill into the Beas River in Punjab had a devastating impact on the surrounding ecosystem and affected drinking water in neighbouring districts. A fine has been imposed on the mill by the state pollution control board for negligence, but such incidents should serve as a reminder that industrial organisations must follow the procedures and protocols for containment.” CEWA will work towards preventing incidents that have a detrimental impact on the environment by promoting best practices within and around industrial corridors.

Mukund Vasudevan, Managing Director of Ecolab India (Nalco Water is the water solutions Division of Ecolab) said, “It’s time for the CEOs of India’s most reputed companies to set the tone on water. By adopting best practices, leveraging cutting-edge technologies, and utilizing the power of digital and data, Indian Industry can reduce their water usage by over 20%, enough to satisfy the drinking water needs of all Indians for a year. We want CEWA to be the catalyst for such an effort.”

The formation of this CEWA initiative is an outcome of the CEO roundtable event in November 2017, hosted by the U.S. Embassy and Nalco Water to promote the importance of water for business continuity, the exchange of best practices and technologies for smart water management. A takeaway from this event was the need to form an alliance of India’s business leaders to work individually and collectively, to set tangible goals for reducing water use.

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