Innovators unite to tackle global water challenges with $11 Billion investment
Aug 31 2023
Water scarcity and sanitation issues continue to pose significant challenges worldwide. In a ground-breaking move, seventeen organisations have joined forces to support the United Nations (UN) Water Action Agenda, pledging a staggering $11 billion investment over the next five years to drive water innovation and address these pressing global issues.
This collective commitment was announced during the UN 2023 Water Conference at a special event organised by Xylem in collaboration with the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The pledges from these innovative industry leaders and several non-profit organisations will be incorporated into the Water Action Agenda. This comprehensive initiative aims to accelerate progress towards UN Sustainable Development Goal 6, focusing on water and sanitation.
The executives representing Xylem, Veolia, XPV, Hydraloop International, and Hansgrohe are spearheading this transformative investment, which will be directed toward crucial areas such as water-related research and development. Additionally, start-up companies specialising in innovative water management approaches will receive financial support to scale their operations, while the deployment of new water technologies will be prioritised. These organisations have also committed to ongoing collaboration with development agencies, governments, and stakeholders from various sectors to facilitate comprehensive solutions for water-related challenges.
Henk Ovink, Water Envoy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, emphasised the critical role played by water in addressing humanity's most pressing challenges. He stated, "As significant water investors and users, the private sector has a pivotal role to play. The organisations pledging their commitment today are at the forefront of bringing new innovations to water use, treatment, and recycling. This type of collective action is essential to tackling major water challenges and to creating a sustainable planet for future generations."
The private and philanthropic sectors' commitment to investing in water solutions aligns with the UN 2023 Water Conference's objective of garnering clear pledges and actions across all industries and interests to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Patrick Decker, CEO of Xylem, emphasised the intensifying global water challenges and the urgent need for innovative solutions. He noted, "Many of the essential technologies already exist, but as climate change progresses, we need more innovative solutions and accelerated implementation to increase the resilience and water security of communities everywhere."
The inclusion of the private sector in the UN 2023 Water Conference marked a significant milestone, as it was the first event of its kind since 1977. By bringing together stakeholders from governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, non-profits, academic institutions, and the scientific community, the conference aim was to advance transformative ideas capable of solving global water challenges.
The organisations contributing to this monumental pledge include Acciona, Autodesk, BlueTech, Burnt Island Ventures, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Evoqua, Grundfos, Hansgrohe, Hydraloop, Idexx, UGSI Solutions, Veolia, Water Foundry Ventures, Wavin, Westly Group, XPV, and Xylem.
To delve deeper into the role of innovation in advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Xylem and the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York are organising an event titled "Private Sector Investment Commitment to Water Innovation." This gathering convened technology innovators, investors, government officials, civil society representatives, and development agencies. Partnering with organisations such as Bluetech Research, Burnt Island Ventures, Evoqua, the International Water Association, Mercy Corps, UNICEF, the Water Foundry, Veolia, the WateReuse Association, and the Water Research Foundation, this event promises to foster impactful discussions on driving sustainable solutions.
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