In 2023, Gap Inc., Cargill and GSK, in partnership with WaterAid and the Water Resilience Coalition, launched the Women + Water Collaborative, an initiative to improve health, livelihoods and climate resilience in water-stressed communities in India. 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 Women + Water Collaborative builds on the success of the previous USAID/ Gap Inc. Women + Water Alliance, founded in 2017 to address the 33% of India’s population of 1.4 billion people living in water scarce areas. Accessibility to safe, sufficient drinking water affects households in myriad ways, ranging from health and hygiene practice to economic opportunities. 

The Collaborative will improve the availability and quality of water in priority river basins through water replenishment and conservation using methods, such as rainwater harvesting, and 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. 

W+W Collaborative India
Image: Vaishnavi Suresh

W+W Collaborative India
Image: Vaishnavi Suresh

W+W Collaborative India
Image: Vaishnavi Suresh
We know that solving the water crisis is a business imperative. We also know that none of the sustainable development goals will be achieved without global collaboration and partnership.

By coordinating large, multi-stakeholder partnerships, we create holistic impact at scale. That's the power of collective action.
Kelly Parsons, CEO, WaterAid America

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.