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Sustainability 25.09.2020 3 Min.

The water shortage in India has become a nationwide problem. The BMW India Foundation has thus launched various projects to treat stale rainwater and turn it into clean drinking water. Five schools in Northern India have been benefiting from the results since the beginning of September.

Unfortunately, water is nearly always in short supply in many areas of India and many of the approximately 1.3 billion inhabitants of the country worry about their water – or have had barely enough drinking water for a long time. Around half of the population is affected by severe water shortages, in more than 20 large cities there is barely enough clean groundwater left. And in ten years, around 40 per cent of the Indian population may have no access to drinking water.

Although this may only be a drop in the ocean considering the wider tragedy that is unfolding, the BMW Group is persistently exploring intelligent methods for saving water or to produce drinking water. In addition to inventing a Watercone or water conservation measures in BMWs Chennai plant in India, the BMW India Foundation is also putting enormous efforts into improving the water supply.

As part of its “Water for future” project, it opened a rainwater treatment system in the Northern Indian state of Haryana at the beginning of September. To this end, a special bio-sand filtration device was installed in schools’ water tanks. It filters out microbes and other pollutants from rainwater and thus turns stale and highly contaminated water into clean drinking water. Over 2,200 students and their teachers from five schools in the region now have access to clean water. The project was carried out in collaboration with the SM Sehgal Foundation, an Indian NGO focusing on rural development.

Kathrin Frauscher, Managing Director and CEO of BMW Financial Services India pointed out: “It is encouraging to see that the project was successfully completed. As a responsible company, we want to continue to work on similar projects in the future.”

The objective of “Water for future” is a lasting and sustainable provision of clean drinking water in regions that are particularly badly affected. Already, around 8,000 families have benefited from the new water filter system. In addition to the rainwater treatment project in Haryana, a system from the BMW India Foundation was installed at Mahindra World City close to BMW's Chennai plant. Here, the dwindling levels of groundwater are supplemented by collecting run-off rainwater and “injecting” it into the ground.

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