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Xylem: Helping Address the Global Water Crisis


In a recent survey in China, 96 percent of urban residents identified water quality as a serious issue. Concerns range from industrial discharge to polluted waterways to supply-and-consumption concerns. The Chinese government is getting the message, and water-quality investments there are on the rise.

The survey was conducted by Xylem, which is a global water technology provider that empowers customers to transport, treat, test and use water efficiently in a range of settings. Xylem is based in Rye Brook, New York, and has 12,500 employees around the globe. It does business in more than three-quarters of the world’s nations.

Each year since 2012, Xylem has published the Value of Water Index, and the China edition in 2014 was the first conducted outside of the U.S.

While the water-quality-and-supply challenges in China are at a crisis level, Xylem’s research documents that growing demand and aging infrastructure will threaten the U.S. water supply, as well. Aging pipes and treatment plants are being pushed to their limits. A water main breaks in America every two minutes, resulting in the cumulative loss of nearly 2 trillion gallons of clean water.

Xylem specializes in developing water treatment systems (with more than 200,000 installations to date); empowering the reuse of treated wastewater for industrial, landscape, and agricultural purposes; and providing energy-saving technologies, such as pumps that use significantly less energy than many models currently in use. These smart pumps can reduce energy costs by 50 to 70 percent by adjusting speed to reflect demand.

The current scenario, in which clean-water supplies decline and water use increases, is unsustainable. Simply put, Xylem and companies like it are developing and deploying the technologies that must play a critical role in addressing the global water crisis.