Impetus for the Alliance

Need for a Sustainable water enterprise alliance

We all wish for a world in which safe, affordable water is available for everyone. This sentiment is the driving force behind the United Nations’ sustainable development goal (SDG 6.1), which aims to achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all. The World Bank estimates that, at current spending levels, 4.5 billion people will be in need of safe water by 2030, a number which will account to more than half of world’s projected population. These estimates are all the more exasperating when we realize that, though there may enough fresh water on the planet to achieve SDG 6.1, various obstacles stand in the way of the significant progress that must be made in order to ensure safe water globally. As a result, millions of people die each year from diseases related to inadequate safe water supply, sanitation, and hygiene.These issues become more pronounced when we consider a country like India, which is home to 1.32 billion people, approximately 18% of the the global population.India has four percent of the world’s fresh water resources. But this water is unevenly distributed (both spatially and temporally). As a result, an estimated 38 million people annually are affected by waterborne diseases, and approximately 400,000 deaths can be attributed to contaminated water. Furthermore, it is estimated that in India approximately 820 million people lack access to treated piped water, according to the 2011 Census of India. India ranks
120th out of 122 nations for its water quality, and 133rd out of 180 nations for its water availability.

What are SWEs and their presence in India

Small water enterprises generally refer to a range of entities selling water to bottom-of-the pyramid populations, ranging from stationary water points, such as kiosks or standpipes, to mobile units, such as tanker trucks and door-to-door vendors. 
SWEs in India are present in the urban and rural landscape in India. They are a recommended solution for providing treated water in quality affected habitations and communities who rely on untreated ground water. They are sanctioned by the Ministry of Drinking water and Sanitation, Niti Ayog, Ministry of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj and have been very recently been included by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) in 500 AMRUT cities program to deliver water to peri-urban slums. This announcement was made by the MoUD  on 14th October, 2016 at ‘Beyond Piped’ forum organized jointly between Safe Water Network India and USAID India.


  • Mainstream SWEs and accelerate their growth through policy enabling, innovation, transformation, inclusion and governance
  • Make representations to the authorities on matters of professional interest and work constantly towards upgrading the standards of SWEs professional services so that affordable safe drinking water reaches the communities reliably and sustainably
  • Advising the government on matters of professional importance
  • Provide advisory services to Government and act as a catalyst to promote public health through safe water delivery and bring societal good
  • Provide industry and academic cross linkages for safe water delivery by promoting scientific and technical research, pilots etc
  • Meet the unmet sector need by organizing training programs for professionals from NGOs, industry, academics, regulatory and practice
  • To undertake or promote scientific and technical research, pilot technologies
  • To edit and publish, journals, books, magazines, documents and other publications for promoting the causes of the profession of SWEs
  • To disseminate sector best practices and learnings through seminars, symposia, conferences and exhibitions for promoting the causes of profession of SWEs
  • To enable cross-learnings within sector players for advancement of the sector and refinement of various models of operation
  • To provide a platform for pooled funding by large multi-lateral and bi-lateral for advancement to scale SWEs


  • Representations to government to support advancement of SWEs
  • Key initiatives and Information sharing
  • Training programs
  • Consulting / Professional services
  • Dissemination

Founding Partners

  • E.A. Water, H. Subramaniam, Co-founder, Earth Water Group
  • Sarvajal (Piramal Water Pvt.Ltd), Anuj Sharma, Chief Operating Officer
  • Naandi Community Water Services, Divya Yachamaneni, Chief Executive Officer
  • Safe Water Network, Ravindra Sewak, Founding Trustee
  • WaterHealth India, Vikas Shah, Chief Operating Officer
  • Waterlife, Sudesh Menon, Chief Executive Officer