By Nate F. Searing

In the five months since the waves subsided and the devastation of the Asian tsunami gave way to news reports of dehydration and waterborne disease, our industry has responded en masse to bring safe, clean drinking water to millions of people. WC&P Magazine salutes the manufacturers, distributors and dealers throughout our industry that have made a difference and recognize a small sampling who have reached out to us to share their contributions. They include:

  • American Water, of Voorhees, New Jersey, provided $93,600 to the Red Cross International Response Fund to benefit the victims. Individual American Water employees donated about half of those funds, with additional private denotations made to a variety of other relief organizations including Doctors Without Borders and the Salvation Army. American Water is part of RWE Thames Water, the water division of RWE, an international utility company that combined with its subsidiaries raised over $256,000 for tsunami relief.
  • BASF donated two drinking water purification plants to the German government’s disaster relief organization for deployment in Indonesia and supports a Habitat for Humanity project in Sri Lanka financing the construction of 300 homes in a devastated area.
  • GE Infrastructure, Water & Process Technologies installed two, 52-foot mobile water treatment units and sent dozens of employees to Indonesia to help operate them in the wake of the tsunami. Combined capacity of the systems is ~864,000 gallons of purified water per day.
  • Groupe Danone, focusing its efforts on Indonesia where the tsunami hit hardest and the company has significant brand recognition, has delivered more than five million food products including two million bottles of water, two million packs of Biskuat biscuits and about one million bottles of Milkuat beverages. The company expects to deliver five million more food products and beverages by summer.
  • ITT Industries provided 60 portable water treatment units for emergency treatment at refugee camps and has sent more than $500,000 in additional aid.
  • Leisure Time Ice and Spring Water of Kiamesha Lake, N.Y. and Wall Street mogul Andrew Krieger came together to bottle 50,000 gallons of Leisure Time water for shipment to India (the company bottles the water from a source found on Krieger’s Upstate N.Y. property). As part of the donation, Krieger also purchased 50 tons of medical supplies and chartered a cargo plane to airlift those supplies to the region.
  • Procter and Gamble Company donated millions of its Pur emergency water purification packets to AmeriCares, UNICEF and the Red Cross for use throughout the affected region.
  • USFilter Corporation has provided drinking water treatment units that remove impurities from raw water at a capacity of ~24,000 gallons a day. Siemens Corporation, the parent company of USFilter, is working through its subsidiaries in Thailand to identify suitable sites for additional portable treatment facilities.
  • WaterHealth International provided approximately 50 of their small-scale UV systems to the Sri Lankan government, enough to purify water for about 100,000 people each day.
  • The Water Quality Association and six other groups are working with Water For People to facilitate communications, volunteer efforts and in-kind and cash donations for the North American water industry and the International Water Association.
  • Zenon Environmental sent 54 Homespring purification units to provide water to victims in India and Sri Lanka. The company partnered with Eureka Forbes (an Indian water purification systems manufacturer) and World Vision (an international relief and development organization) and its partners on the ground to identify and serve the areas most in need including relief camps, schools and other community locations. Eureka Forbes has since taken on the responsibility of servicing and maintaining the units to ensure continued safe drinking water to people in the area. Combined, the Homespring units produce 1.5 million liters of drinking water per day, supplying potable water to 350,000 people.

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