The Search for Water Savings in India

The tea-growing regions of Kerala and Tamil Nadu are looking towards greater sustainability with a new water-saving initiative by the Hindustan Unilever Foundation (HUF), Solidaridad and the United Planters Association of Southern India (UPASI).

WaterConserveIllustration_iStockA major component of the project involves improving the way in which water use is measured. There will be analyses of drip irrigation systems versus sprinklers and the frequency and length of water application, and the subsequent impact on production. Additional water conservation possibilities, including water harvesting, will be considered.

In total the water project will train up to 92,000 workers on better usage techniques and aims to save 2,620 million liters of water. The program will also work with the sugarcane, cotton and soy industries. Leaders say that more than 779,000 farmers and workers will be impacted in all.
Kulbir Mehta, Senior Coordinator at Solidaridad, projects three-year water savings of 13,530 million liters.

Solidaridad is committed to improving productivity and market access for India’s major industries as a way to reduce poverty in the region. HUF and Solidaridad came together on the water program, outlining five fundamental goals including assessing water demand, reducing addition of water, improving production, involving stakeholders in planning and policy and achieving a measurable impact.

Says HUF CEO, Ravi Puranik in a press release, “The collaborative nature of this program sees the engagement of multiple actors in the private sector and their supply chains, producer groups, NGOs and others in Hindustan Unilever Foundation’s (HUF) journey on “Water for Public Good” in India. It weaves water as a common wave across the ongoing initiatives of Solidaridad and leverages on the existing networks and resources to enhance social return on investment for all the stakeholders.”

The Hindustan Unilever Foundation partners with Oxfam, Population Services International, Save the Children, UNICEF and World Food Programme to address issues of clean water, nutrition and sanitation. Solidaridad is a 45-year-old international organization that focuses on creating socially and ecologically responsible supply chains. The United Planters’ Association of Southern India was founded in 1893. It works with the people who grow tea, coffee, rubber, pepper and cardamom in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Kamataka, India.

SOURCE: Hindu Business Line