US govt’s OPIC commits $12.5 m loan for clean drinking water in India

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The US government development fund arm OPIC has committed $12.5 million loan for a project to deliver affordable clean drinking water to low and middle-income groups in India.

The loan will go to the Indian subsidiary of California-based WaterHealth International Inc — WaterHealth India Pvt Ltd — to install 900 decentralised plants to purify water on site and sell it at price three to four times lower than bottled water alternatives currently available in the market.

The $12.5 million (80 crore) loan from the Overseas Private Investment Arm (OPIC) will go to a project that will expand access to affordable clean drinking water to millions of low and middle-income people in India, OPIC said in a statement.

The clean water vending machines are to be installed at places like railway stations, bus stations, shopping malls, public and private institutions or any high footfall location where consumers are able to purchase purified water ranging in amounts from 300 ml to 5 litres.

Most consumers carry their own bottles and WaterHealth refills them but consumers may also purchase reusable bottles.

“This project offers an innovative approach to making safe water more available and affordable and illustrates how businesses can develop new solutions to long standing global challenges,” said Ray W Washburne, President and CEO, OPIC.

Photo courtesy of Ron Kroetz.

Source: The Hindu Business Line (link opens in a new window)

global development, SDGs