Access to potable water in villages is still a problem in India. It has to be fetched from long distances, a task usually done by women in the family who draw water from a well or a pump in the area.
When Huntsman Textile Effects acquired the Baroda plant in 2009, it worked to clean up contaminated groundwater and integrate treated water in its processes, and then focused on providing clean drinking water to residents outside its gates. At the site’s water treatment plant, Huntsman treats water to meet international standards for its own use and then also to provide drinking water to local villagers.
Huntsman also works with pollution control boards to improve the overall quality of underground water by groundwater treatment system and monitoring onsite and offsite wells. Today, drinking water is made available to villagers of Umraya and Luna at various outlets provided near the factory gate and across the site boundary. Current consumption is approximately 2,900 gallons (11 cubic meters) per day, which is expected to increase in the future.
However, social responsibility does not stop at the factory gate. In Umraya village, Huntsman has helped by giving funds to install a reverse osmosis system to provide the entire village of 3,500 people with clean drinking water. Huntsman also maintains the drinking water facility for approximately 450 students in Luna primary school. Recently, the site replaced all the system’s filters.
In addition, Huntsman is also educating people about proper water use and working with local industry to improve overall water discharge quality.
According to the World Bank, India is the largest user of groundwater in the world. If current trends continue, in 20 years approximately 60 percent of all of India’s aquifers will be in critical condition.
“Having a safe, adequate water supply is a chief concern for society today. At Huntsman, we believe we have a responsibility to be part of the solution,” says Site Manager Sanjay Soor.