Pentair announced its next Project Safewater initiative with Water Mission, a global engineering nonprofit, to deliver clean, safe drinking water and sanitation to 150,000 people in Central America.
The project expands upon the two organizations first collaborative effort, which saw the successful implementation of scalable, sustainable safe water and sanitation projects in the Department of Colón, Honduras.
"At Pentair, we believe that safe water is a fundamental human right, and one of the foundations of freedom and economic development," said Randall J. Hogan, chairman and chief executive officer of Pentair. "The world s safe drinking water crisis is solvable, as demonstrated by the sustainable and cost-effective solution that we implemented as part of our first Project Safewater initiative with Water Mission in Colón, Honduras. Systems and technologies developed from that project are now being deployed around the world, and we are pleased to expand this effort to additional regions in Honduras."
Project Safewater Colón represents the largest scientifically documented water and sanitation project in Central America. The initial health impact study demonstrated reductions in illness resulting from waterborne diseases by 80 percent, and visits to the local health clinics for diarrheal diseases decreased by over 50 percent. In addition, a follow up study conducted in 2014 found that Colón s infant mortality rate fell twice as much as the national average, which translates to saving the lives of 40 children each year.
"Our studies on the Colón, Honduras project with Pentair demonstrated that, for just pennies per day-per person-we could dramatically reduce the incidence of waterborne disease and save lives," said George C. Greene III, Ph.D., P.E., chief executive officer of Water Mission. "In addition to the health benefits, we now look to better understand and quantify the long-term economic and educational impacts that can result from access to clean, safe water."
The new Project Safewater initiative will focus on Lempira and Intibucá, two Departments in the western region of Honduras. Lempira and Intibucá have some of the highest percentages of people living in extreme poverty in Honduras and while access to water and sanitation is relatively high, it is generally not considered to be safely managed. Pentair, Water Mission and local Honduran government organizations will work to deliver improvements in water quality, sanitation infrastructure and WASH (Water and Sanitation for Health) behaviors. Further, the organizations will measure not only the health-related impacts, but also the economic and educational improvements related to water and sanitation interventions.
Proven Protocol to Deliver Safe, Clean Water
Beginning in 2007, Pentair and Water Mission developed and implemented an innovative, improved approach to providing sustainable access to safe water for more than 300,000 people in Colón-combining technology, micro-enterprise business models and scientific research. The comprehensive program included the installation of more than 200 water treatment systems and over 15,000 household sanitation facilities developed specifically for this project, as well as widespread community education programs to heighten awareness of the importance of safe, clean drinking water, and the connection between good hygiene and health. Additionally, to ensure the availability of safe, clean water is sustained, Project Safewater Colón established a microenterprise business model, where the local community owns the water treatment systems and users pay their communities a nominal fee for potable water. The individual user fee is established by the local community to cover the ongoing operation and maintenance of their system.
The success in Colón served as a model to expand Project Safewater to other developing countries. Since 2007, Pentair has worked with strategic partners to implement numerous programs around the world-from Central America to Africa to India and Asia-to provide sustainable access to clean, safe drinking water to nearly three million people. This project is one of many contributions Pentair is making towards U.N. Global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Six, ensuring clean, safe water is available and sustainable for all.