Gap Inc., Cargill, and GSK Join the Water Resilience Coalition and WaterAid to Improve Access to Water in India as Part of the Coalition's 2030 100-Basin Plan
New York, New York, October 17, 2023 – The Water Resilience Coalition (WRC), an industry-driven, CEO-led initiative convening global companies to address the global water crisis, today announced the launch of the Women + Water Collaborative, a flagship corporate collective action program to improve access to clean water and sanitation in India.
Gap Inc., Cargill, and GSK, in partnership with WaterAid and the Water Resilience Coalition, are launching the initiative to improve health, livelihoods, and climate resilience in water-stressed communities in India, beginning with the Krishna and Godavari basins. The WRC is an initiative of the CEO Water Mandate, a partnership between the UN Global Compact and the Pacific Institute.
This marks the first time that companies from different sectors spanning apparel, biopharma, and agriculture have united with shared goals, metrics, and governance to provide access to clean water and sanitation in the same communities. The Collaborative builds on the success of the previous USAID Gap Inc. Women + Water Alliance, which empowered over 2.4 million people to improve their access to water and sanitation in India between 2017 and 2023. This is one of 21 collective action projects in 15 basins underway across Asia, Africa, South America, and North America as part of the Water Resilience Coalition’s 2030 ambition to build water resilience across 100 Priority Basins.
The Women + Water Collaborative will improve the availability and quality of water in priority river basins through water replenishment and conservation using methods such as rainwater harvesting. It will provide communities with safe drinking water and climate-resilient sanitation and hygiene infrastructure and services. Although women in rural India play a crucial role in water collection and use, their participation in decision-making around water resources remains low. This program will leverage women’s leadership to build water resilience, improve water security, and enable equitable access to water and sanitation for communities at scale.
This flagship collective action program demonstrates tangible progress toward the Water Resilience Coalition’s ambition to contribute to water security for 3 billion people and enable equitable access to water, sanitation, and hygiene for more than 300 million people by 2030.
WaterAid will launch the program in five Indian states and six priority districts. The NGO is keen to bring on additional corporate partners to expand the reach.
About the Water Resilience Coalition
The Water Resilience Coalition is an industry-driven, CEO-led initiative of the CEO Water Mandate that aims to elevate the long-term mounting crisis of global water stress to the top of the corporate agenda and to preserve the world’s freshwater resources through collective action in water-stressed basins and ambitious, quantifiable commitments. Since the Coalition’s launch in 2020, 35 global companies across multiple sectors with a combined market cap of US$4.8 trillion and operations in more than 140 countries have joined the effort. For more information, visit ceowatermandate.org/resilience.
About the Pacific Institute
Founded in 1987, the Pacific Institute is a global water think tank that combines science-based thought leadership with active outreach to influence local, national, and international efforts in developing sustainable water policies. From working with Fortune 500 companies to frontline communities, our mission is to create and advance solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges. Since 2009, the Pacific Institute has also acted as co-secretariat for the CEO Water Mandate, a global commitment platform that mobilizes a critical mass of business leaders to address global water challenges through corporate water stewardship. For more information, visit pacinst.org.
About the UN Global Compact
As a special initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General, the UN Global Compact is a call to companies worldwide to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Our ambition is to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change. With more than 18,000 companies and 3,800 non-business signatories based in over 101 countries, and 62 Local Networks, the UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative—one Global Compact uniting business for a better world.
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More about WaterAid
WaterAid is an international nonprofit working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene a reality for everyone, everywhere within a generation. WaterAid has a presence in 30 countries, working to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalized people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 29 million people with clean water, 29 million people with decent toilets and 28 million people with good hygiene. wateraid.org/us
- 750 million people in the world – one in ten – do not have clean water close to home.
- Two billion people in the world – almost one in four – do not have a decent toilet of their own.
- Around 310,000 children under five die every year from diarrheal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's around 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes.
Every $2 invested in water and toilets returns an average of $8 in increased productivity.