Waterlife India: Developing a model for water management

In this venture, Waterlife India aims to develop a water treatment system that will increase the distribution of clean and affordable water to low-income areas in India.


The inclusive business initiative

Waterlife is seeking to develop an inclusive business project based on sound water management. The objective of this project is to develop an end-to-end system for water management. As affordable clean drinking water in India is scarce due to the high cost of filtration, by 2050, water availability is expected to drop by about 44%. Waterlife have therefore identified a significant opportunity to develop a new technology solution to supply affordable drinking water to low-income communities. Waterlife aims to further develop filtration technology, water harvesting technologies (including rainwater) and water waste management.

Commercial drivers

Waterlife has more than 1700 water treatment installations in rural and urban areas across India, reaching more than 1.2 million people. In order to build on this experience, Waterlife believes that there is a high probability of breaking even in the long term, and has therefore invested in a pilot program to test this time frame.

Development impacts

The development impact of this venture will help Waterlife make their technologies more efficient and reach scale faster. By 2014, the objective is for Waterlife to increase their reach from 1.2 million consumers to 20-30 million. This is essential to health in lower income areas as clean water reduces infant mortality, diseases and stunted growth. This helps increase earnings by reducing loss of working hours due to water-borne diseases and can, at times, save people from severe conditions such as arsenicosis.

Objectives of Facility engagement

The Business Innovation Facility aims to assist this venture by helping Waterlife assess the market for water treatment, provide data driven design inputs for technology development, facilitate partnership with large multinational corporations for technology partnership, support pilot implementation and produce final reports capturing lessons learnt and next steps.