Making a Splash-Xylem Watermark celebrates helping others in 2022 | Infrastructure news

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” – Desmond Tutu

Real and lasting change comes from many different people doing their best to improve the lives of others. Every action helps, and as the legendary Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, we can change the world with enough action.

This vision captures the spirit of Watermark, Xylem’s social investment arm and a critical part of our sustainable business vision. Xylem is the leading global provider of pure water solutions, and we know that water is critical for people to live better lives. We support the United Nations’ vision for a sustainable future, specifically Sustainable Development Goal 6: clean water and sanitation for all.

Xylem elevates and secures water for communities and countries across the globe, using the latest technology, skills and best practices. Yet we don’t stop there.

Watermark takes our vision further through social engagement, volunteers, financial support and water education. Globally and locally, Watermark engages in numerous activities such as sanitation systems, water access and environmental clean-ups.

During 2022, we engaged with a variety of community improvement projects, ranging from water education and local clean-ups to improving urban gardens that feed their communities to helping repair the damage left by Kwazulu-Natal’s devastating floods.

“Watermark’s work is critical to the Xylem business model,” says Chetan Mistry, Xylem Africa’s Strategy and Marketing Manager.

“Our leadership places sustainability as a crucial part of our success, reflected in our progress on self-imposed sustainability benchmarks such as reducing Xylem’s carbon footprint and improving water efficiency. Xylem’s vision is to solve global water problems. Everyone deserves access to clean water. It boosts food security, hygiene, and many other development needs. We’re achieving these goals through our company purpose, with Watermark and its volunteers taking our support where it’s needed most.”

Doing good with communities in 2022

Throughout the year, Watermark helped develop communities, enhance water and sanitation systems, and spread knowledge on looking after water and the environment.

Responding to the incredible damage left by the floods in KwaZulu-Natal, Watermark volunteers restored plumbing and water access, and repaired additional damage at the Isihlangusabasha Primary School in the Inanda township, Kwangcolosi. The efforts of our volunteers and partners indirectly helped 1,500 people start recovering from this national tragedy.

Watermark’s focus extends beyond disasters. We frequently help improve Community Gardens, such as the Arekopaneng Centre in Orange Farm, Gauteng, which houses an early childhood development (ECD) centre and Child and Youth Development facilities accommodating 500 children of primary and secondary school age.

Our volunteers, including Xylem engineers and technicians, installed a drip-irrigation system at the centre and provided support and equipment to the centre’s agripreneurship learning centre, impacting over 6,000 people in the community.

The urban garden at Soweto’s Elsie Ngidi Primary School, also supported by Watermark, reaches more than 3,000 people, and at Dunoon in Cape Town, we helped develop their urban garden, benefiting over 1,300 people directly and 4,000 community members as a whole.

Partnerships are crucial for lasting success, and Xylem Watermark collaborates with Manchester City Football Club to promote water stewardship and foster water champions. In 2022, we teamed up for a ‘plogging’ event in Strandfontein, near Mitchells Plain in Cape Town. Plogging combines outdoor walking and jogging with community clean-up activities, beautifying the area. On the day, Watermark also hosted complementary activities such as a volleyball tournament and celebrations for Manchester City’s seventh Premier League championship title.

During the plogging event, visitors met Splash, a new children’s book character created in South Africa. Splash and his friends give children a fun adventure as they learn more about water and why it’s important to look after this valuable resource. Funded by Watermark and Xylem, the illustrated children’s book has made a big splash already across Africa in English. It will soon launch in French to take its message to francophone countries.

This year, Xylem and Watermark also backed Africans standing proud on the international stage, sponsoring Stockholm Junior Water Prize events across the continent. This annual event’s regional and global prizes go to outstanding water projects by school-age students. With the support of Xylem and Watermark, regions such as Kenya hosted their inaugural entries to the prestigious prize, showcasing the innovative water concepts developed by their bright young minds.

Setting the tone for 2023

“Working with Watermark has been incredible this year, and I’m already excited about what we can achieve in 2023,” says Craig Kensley, director of GrowZA. “In Africa, the connection between water, food and prosperity is clear. But just because it’s obvious doesn’t mean it develops organically. Change happens because people put themselves out there to make a difference. Xylem and Watermark are serious about these goals. It’s not corporate window dressing—it’s the real deal. They want to solve water and grow South Africa.”

A little good goes a long way, and when concentrated through collaborative effort, good intentions achieve great things. Xylem and Watermark have made great strides working with partners such as GrowZA.

During 2022, they continued to build on their success, setting a high mark for 2023 that everyone is eager to surpass.

Additional Reading?

Request Free Copy