WaterHealth India (WHIN), a 100% subsidiary of WaterHealth International (WHI), USA, provides safe, scalable and affordable drinking water solutions to the underserved communities across India. WHIN was established ten(10) years back and operates and maintains over 500 decentralized Community Water Systems (CWS) [called WaterHealth Centers (WHCs)] across Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka ,Tamil Nadu providing access to safe drinking water to over five (5) million people. WHIN’s brand ‘dr. water’ complies with IS 10500 standards and exceeds the WHO standards. Based on a comprehensive study conducted by IMRB in 2010, dr. water consumer households are approximately nine (9) times less likely to contract waterborne diseases compared to non-consumer households.
In line with its vision, the Company is pursuing the audacious goal of serving 100 million consumers by 2020. In order to achieve the same, WaterHealth has adopted a decentralized model for serving the underserved communities (that are severely impacted due to poor availability of safe drinking water) in both urban, peri-urban and rural areas.
The Company’s strategy has been to install, operate and maintain “micro-utilities” called WaterHealth Centers (WHCs) in the targeted communities. The WaterHealth Center is the flagship product of the Company wherein raw water is treated through a six (6) stage purification process.
These decentralized systems are established through a Public Private Community Partnership (PPCP) whereby the Company constructs a water purification plant [which can typically serve a community ranging from 10,000 to 25,000 people]. The infrastructure i.e. land, raw water source and electricity are provided by the community while WaterHealth sources the funds to set up the water purification plants. The WHCs are constructed and run on a Build Operate Transfer (BOT) agreement with the Local Government i.e. Panchayat or the Municipality with a concession term spanning between 15-25 years, with an option to extend the term on expiry. This ensures continuous availability of safe drinking water to the community at affordable rates at all times. While the Company’s area of focus so far has been rural communities, it is now expanding into urban and peri-urban areas through partnerships with large municipal corporations and small municipalities.
The Company’s scope of work extends beyond purification and water life cycle management, WHIN runs well conceived social marketing programs to change consumer behavior towards safe drinking water. These programs are customized to spread awareness about the health benefits of safe drinking water, even in communities where little or no healthcare knowledge exists.