How can a trickle become a torrent?
Scaling safe water enterprises (SWEs) as a better answer to the water crisis.
Imagine a life without safe drinking water. It isn’t easy. Most of us take for granted that we can just turn on a tap and fill a glass. But that’s not an option for roughly one in four of the world’s population — the 2.1 billion people who still lack access to safe drinking water today.
With half of all hospital beds in low-income countries occupied by people with water-borne diseases, it’s hard to overstate the importance of reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of equitable access to safe, affordable drinking water for all by 2030.
While the current rate of change isn’t fast enough to hit this 2030 target, EY sees grounds for optimism in the growing number of entrepreneurial SWEs innovating new models for the provision of safe water in underserved communities.
Seeing that same potential, Unilever engaged an EY team to help it develop a deeper understanding of these new models, and their economic and operational viability. Having already served nearly 100b liters of safe drinking water to more than 55m people through its Pureit Brand, it wanted to know which models, with the right focus and investment, might be capable of bringing safe water within reach of hundreds of millions more people.