Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF), the CSR arm of leading cement manufacturer Ambuja Cements Ltd., has called for a greater emphasis on cohesive and collaborative efforts to inspire sustainable water management and build water sufficient, progressive and prosperous communities across India.
In association with Samhita – a social enterprise specialising in developing CSR initiatives; ACF hosted a participatory dialogue on ‘Investing in Water for Today and the Future’ in order to address and mitigate the growing water scarcity issues. The activity has brought together different players working or interested in the water sector to communicate the extent of the crisis, provide pathways for investment and facilitate collaborations across the country. ACF held similar activities earlier too.
Sharing her views on this occasion Ambuja Cement Foundation Head Pearl Tiwari said, “India is facing serious water crisis and going by the NITI Aayog report, the situation is expected to get worse by 2030. The already scarce water resource has been further compromised in quality and availability by inefficiency, mismanagement and climate change. The goal of this program is to bring together various stakeholders across the spectrum to share learnings, discuss existing challenges and opportunities; and take corrective steps towards ensuring water security for the future through partnerships.”
At the event, ACF and Samhita also unveiled Making a Case for Corporate Action in Water, a report that showcased existing interventions in water across various themes such as drinking water, water for agriculture, water conservation and management, water treatment and more. The report identifies commonalities and key insights from the various case studies; and provides a broad landscape of the stakeholders and their interventions within the cause areas. “The idea is to explore, analyse and replicate programmatic excellence in water management, through effective collaborations” adds Tiwari.
Through its flagship ‘Water Resource Management’ program, ACF has been working on ensuring all-year-round access to water in the core villages it is operating in. The innovative and consistent endeavours have not only addressed drinking water needs but at the same time increased water-use efficiency. By partnering with the government and other developmental agencies, ACF has over the years completed and implemented large-scale projects including 408 check dams, 6751 Roof Rainwater Harvesting Structures, 72 km of canal linkage, thereby creating 55 million cubic meters of water storage capacity.
Marking its Silver Jubilee year recently, ACF has stepped up its efforts through partnerships – between communities, Government and other like-minded corporates and NGOs – to help solve pressing community problems and foster prosperity. Its ongoing water resource management model focuses on three areas – Water Harvesting (check dams, interlinking rivers and watershed development etc.), Drinking Water (Roof Rainwater Harvesting Structures, pond deepening, in-village distribution system and water quality surveillance etc.) and Water Conservation (Water User Association, Participatory Irrigation Management and Promotion of Micro Irrigation).
ACF played a key role in Ambuja Cement earning 5.5 times water positive status – the highest in the industry. Over the last 25 years, ACF has been working with a vision to achieve drinking water sufficiency for all villages in its operational areas by 2020 and has invested over INR 160 crore so far in its water management initiative.