At this week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, USCIB Chairman William J. Parrett, chief executive officer of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, announced a joint project between his firm and the Safe Water Network to develop small-scale, community-based solutions to bring safe water to neglected populations.
The 12-month program will target several countries and regions – potentially including Bangladesh, China, India, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America – where distributed water purification technology solutions are expected to improve community access to clean drinking water.
Mr. Parrett and Kurt Soderlund, the Safe Water Network’s chief operating officer, said the objectives of the program for the next 12 months include:
- Empowering local communities to improve their living conditions through the deployment of distributed water purification technology
- Demonstrating alternative models to deploy water purification solutions, including micro-enterprise programs that establish local water entrepreneurs, and social investment programs such as supplying water purification to local health clinics
- Developing plans that support broad scale deployment of solutions to materially improve the health and living conditions for the millions afflicted by water-borne illnesses.
“Many communities face severe water shortages that hinder their development,” Mr. Parrett said. “Deloitte member firms are proud to work with the Safe Water Network to help bring what we see as practical solutions to local communities. The Deloitte network of member firms, including approximately 135,000 people in nearly 140 countries, can bring knowledge and expertise to define local needs, and help deliver technology and other solutions to deliver clean water.”
Nearly 1.1 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water, and 90 percent of deaths from water-related diseases in the developing world today occur in children under five years of age. “In different ways, at different ages, access to adequate water and sanitation services influences everybody’s health, education, life expectancy, well-being and social development,” noted Mr. Parrett. “Water is fundamental to human life, community development, and long-term sustainability.”