In observance of World Water Day (March 22),  the White House is hosting a summit to raise awareness of water issues and potential solutions. The goal is to catalyze ideas and actions to help build a sustainable and secure water future through innovative science and technology.

“We are in the midst of a global water crisis, and GE is striving to help solve the world’s pressing water challenges with ongoing technology innovation, collaborative partnerships and a commitment to a sustainable water future,” said Heiner Markhoff, president and CEO—water and distributed power for GE (IW 500/6) Power.

“Our planet's water resources are being threatened by climate change, drought, population growth, waste and the rising demand for energy," Markhoff added. "To secure our water future, we need to conserve, recycle and reuse water, reduce consumption, adopt policies and continue to create innovative cutting-edge technologies.”

As part of its participation in  the event, GE is highlighting four commitments to help develop a sustainable water future:

  • GE expects to invest over half a billion dollars into research and development over the next 10 years to fuel GE’s global capabilities in advanced water, wastewater and reuse technologies to solve water and wastewater challenges.
  • The company’s advanced water treatment technologies, including drinking water, wastewater, reuse and desalination applications, have helped GE’s customers treat more than 3 billion gallons of water per day. GE intends to increase customers’ daily water treatment capacity to over 7 billion gallons of water per day in the next 10 years. 
  • The company will reduce its global freshwater consumption to better support the communities where GE operates. Since 2006, GE facilities have reduced freshwater use in excess of 42% as part of its Ecomagination strategy. GE has announced 2020 commitments to reduce freshwater consumption by an additional 20% from the 2011 baseline, which translates to a 1.8 billion gallon reduction in total annual water usage.
  • The GE Foundation has invested over $4.7 million on programs supporting the design, installation and training of small-scale water purification units for community clinics and birthing centers to provide access to safe water. Over the next 10 years, these programs are expected to produce over 3 billion gallons of treated water at select health facilities in Rwanda, Ghana, Uganda, Cambodia and Honduras. GE’s engagement in low and middle income countries are in partnership with Emory University, Assist International, GE’s water business and UNICEF.