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Novartis India : inaugurates innovative watershed project in India to increase water availability

03/23/2021 | 09:39am EDT

Today, on World Water Day, Novartis inaugurated an integrated watershed development project to help address water scarcity in the Telangana region of India, one of the world's most water-stressed countries.

Managed jointly with the National Agro Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to 'reviving rural India through rural innovations,' the project supports the Novartis 2030 water neutrality target through water conservation and efficient water utilization. The watershed area is located near Hyderabad, Telangana's largest city and a major industrial hub, and consists of five villages and associated hamlets. It is expected to generate 50 000 cubic meters of 'harvested' rainwater, the equivalent of the volume of water used in 1.4 million showers1.

A watershed is an area of land with a common set of streams and rivers that all drain into a single larger body of water, such as a river, a lake or even an ocean. Yet a watershed is much more - it is an interdependent web of living organisms, including human beings, that inhabit a geographic area and depend on it for clean soil, air and water.

'India has been facing an ongoing water crisis which has worsened due to climate change, making access to water increasingly challenging,' says Sanjay Murdeshwar, Country President at Novartis India. 'Water scarcity could pose major risks to companies, supply chains and communities. Programs such as the watershed development project can help manage this resource holistically, in ways that support society's long-term sustainability.'

Beyond water, the watershed management project hence considers the entire ecosystem, including land, flora and fauna and human beings. This integrated approach is essential to promote an inclusive development, one that maximizes economic and social welfare without compromising vital ecosystems. For instance, drinking water and sanitation facilities will be installed at local schools, livelihood support (e.g., backyard poultry, livestock for milk) provided to landless families through women self-help groups, and 3 000 trees planted.

Importantly, the program will be very cost-efficient, enabling the conservation of 75 liters of water for USD 1, the equivalent of buying around four liters of bottled water in India.

'Community watershed programs are among the most impactful strategies to address interlinked issues, but they require empowering communities to use natural resources efficiently to be effective,' says Dr M R Ramasubramaniyan, Executive Director, National Agro Foundation. 'This is why the program will provide capacity-building to farmers, in particular training on advanced water-saving techniques and methods to increase agricultural productivity sustainably.'

In addition to the watershed project, as an active member of the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative, Novartis is supporting the State of Telangana's efforts to revitalize the Musi River, a vital water source to the Hyderabad area which has been impacted by poor waste management practices.


Richard Jarvis

Tel: +44 7966 118 652

Email: richard.jarvis@novartis.com

(C) 2021 Electronic News Publishing, source ENP Newswire

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
NOVARTIS AG 0.44% 78.2 Delayed Quote.-6.89%
NOVARTIS INDIA LIMITED -1.02% 837.2 End-of-day quote.22.19%
08/17NOVARTIS INDIA LIMITED : Ex-dividend day for final dividend
08/12NOVARTIS INDIA : Net Profit Climbs in Fiscal Q1
08/11Indian Indices End at Mixed Note on Wednesday; Tata Steel Jumps 4%
08/11Novartis India Limited Announces Earnings Results for the First Quarter Ended..
06/17NOVARTIS INDIA : Consolidated Net Profit Climbs in Fiscal Q4
06/17Novartis India Limited Reports Earnings Results for the Fourth Quarter Ended ..
06/17Novartis India Limited Recommends Final Dividend for the Year Ended March 31,..
03/23NOVARTIS INDIA : inaugurates innovative watershed project in India to increase w..
03/04CureVac and Novartis Sign Initial Agreement on Manufacturing of COVID-19 Vacc..
02/11Novartis India Limited Reports Earnings Results for the Third Quarter Ended D..
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