Tata Trusts and Jaldhaara Foundation mark World Water Day with the launch of their first WaterHealth Centre in Bengaluru

͂ Marks key initiative under Tata Water Mission To Address Water-Related Issues ͂

•        WaterHealth International provides technology and design for the WaterHealth Centres (WHC)

•        Jaldhaara Foundation designs and implements social programs to provide sustainable and integrated WASH services across rural / peri-urban underserved communities of India

 March 22 2016,  16.15 PM IST || Pocket News Alert

Tata Trusts and Jaldhaara Foundation mark World Water Day with the launch of their first WaterHealth Centre in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, March 22, 2016: Tata Trusts, one of India’s oldest philanthropic organisations, has partnered with Jaldhaara Foundation (JF) to provide innovative solutions addressing the growing concerns of water crisis in Bengaluru. The partnership aims to deliver 96.5 crore litres of safe drinking water, dispensed by 65 WaterHealth Centers (WHCs) by 2018 and scale up to around 698 crore litres by 2033.

Marking ‘World Water Day’, today, Tata Trusts, in association with Jaldhaara Foundation, will set up 15 WaterHealth Centers in the Bengaluru city and another 50 WaterHealth Centers in North Karnataka to provide safe and assured drinking water to quality-affected areas.

Jaldhaara Foundation’s long term objective is on implementing integrated WASH solutions, developing policy framework & Institutional strengthening, knowledge management and dissemination through institutionalized center of excellence being created within JF. Its theory of change centrifuges around partnerships and balances itself on three critical pillars in its approach being empowerment, safeguarding environment and achieving results to scale through its designs.

The WaterHealth Centers (WHCs) that are being designed and managed by WaterHealth International (WHI), a global leader in decentralized water purification systems, are a key initiative under Tata Water Mission. This flagship program of the Trusts aims to explore technology solutions to bring potable water to the marginalized communities and create a healthy future through access to safe, assured and adequate drinking water while also improving sanitation and hygiene.

According to the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, the drinking water crisis in North Karnataka looms large in over 4,000 villages and 38 towns which have been contaminated with Nitrates and Fluoride. Though drinking water supply facilities are in place in some villages in this region, these are either not well maintained or the quality of the treated water is unreliable. This results in women and children having to travel long distances to fetch (so called potable) drinking water. Similarly, Bengaluru city has high level of contamination of fluoride and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in groundwater and urban slums / peri-urban areas have either little or no access to safe drinking water systems. The need for safe and purified drinking water therefore exists in both the urban and rural communities of this region to prevent them from water borne diseases.

Based on JF’s initial feasibility study of these locations, there is a significant underserved population living in the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) who currently do not have access to safe drinking water at reasonable prices.

Addressing these concerns, Tata Trusts, through Tata Water Mission and Jaldhaara Foundation will enable the construction of WaterHealth Centers to provide potable water at subsidized rates. The WaterHealth Centre in Gandhi Nagar is the first initiative of the partnership in Bengaluru.

Speaking about the initiative, Mr. Arun Pandhi, Programme Director, Tata Trusts said, “Improving access to safe water and environmental sanitation has been a key focus area for Tata Trusts for many years. The Tata Water Mission has been launched to facilitate a more rigorous and focused intervention in mission mode, and make a significant difference in a sustainable manner.. I am delighted to inform that our efforts under the mission have already reached out to more than 1.5 million people across eight states  of Gujarat, Uttarkahand, Nagaland, AP, Telangaha, Jharkhand, Odisha and Karnataka. The results of our interventions have been quite encouraging and made substantial improvement in the lives of the communities we serve; specifically women and children. The focus of our partnership with Jaldhaara Foundation advocates a community-centric approach to achieve the goal of promoting innovative technological and economically sustainable solutions.”

Mr. Vikas Shah, Chief Operating Officer (COO), WaterHealth International added, "WaterHealth International is pursuing the goal of providing clean and safe water access (globally) to 100 million people by 2020 which clearly requires a significant scale up of Company’s operations and footprint. Also pursuing such an ambitious target requires close cooperation and partnership with other institutions like Tata Trusts and Jaldhaara Foundation, who share the same vision as WaterHealth; WaterHealth therefore plans to strengthen these partnerships to scale greater heights by providing safe water access to the unserved communities in India."

Ms. Jacqueline Lundquist, Spokesperson, Jaldhaara Foundation added, “There is nothing more thrilling than to be out in the field on World Water Day to see firsthand the meaningful work Jaldhaara Foundation and WaterHealth International are doing in collaboration with the vision and generosity of Tata Trusts. Traditionally most community water programs and efforts have been directed towards rural areas in India however the urban ‘underserved’ areas are as much in need of safe and clean water as the rural communities, if not more. It is therefore no surprise that likeminded organizations have partnered to alleviate the water needs to the urban unserved communities, a much neglected area.  It is only through such partnerships that we can effectively provide solutions to one of the world's most critical issues”.

With this initiative, the Trusts hopes to make a sizeable difference to the existing crisis in curbing water-related diseases. Through these sustainable interventions, the Trusts aims to bring a positive change and improve the quality of life of the people.

About Tata Trusts

Tata Trusts are amongst India's oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organisations that work in several areas of community development. Tata Trusts seek to be catalysts in development through giving grants to institutions in the areas of Natural Resources Management, Rural Livelihoods, Urban Livelihoods & Poverty, Education, Enhancing Civil Society and Governance, Health and Media Arts, Crafts and Culture.

For more information please visit http://tatatrusts.org/

About Jaldhaara Foundation

Jaldhaara Foundation (JF) is a not for profit organization with a goal to deliver integrated community based WASH solutions mainstreaming prevention ideology at adequate scale.  JF envisions building preference for safe WASH practices within unaddressed, isolated bottom of the pyramid communities globally as envisaged in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). JF sees the big impact that daily behaviors on WASH have on the health and productivity of a community. Its mission is to develop and implement sustainable Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) solutions in over two thousand (2,000) communities by 2020.

We believe in ‘quenching a bigger thirst’ through our actions which aim to bring about a positive change in the lives of underserved people.

For more information please visit  http://jaldhaara.org/

About WaterHealth International

WaterHealth International is a global leader in providing scalable, safe drinking water solutions to underserved areas through advanced technology and innovative business models. Headquartered in Irvine, California, USA, WaterHealth International runs operations worldwide including Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and India.

WaterHealth India (WHIN), a wholly owned subsidiary of WaterHealth International, started operations in India in 2006 with a vision to provide access to safe drinking water to underserved communities. In the nine (9) years of its operations WHIN has successfully installed and now operating over 450 community water systems called WaterHealth Centers (WHCs) in India covering Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

For more information please visit  http://waterhealth.com/