Community Safe Drinking Water

Providing safe, accessible, affordable and sustainable drinking water to communities battling water contamination in India

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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Naandi Community Water Services Private Limited

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Scaling (the solution has passed the previous stages and is growing its impact on a regional or global scale)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $1mil - $5mil

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • More than 100,000

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Rural development
  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • India

Headquarters location: City


Location(s) of impact

Creating impact in multiple peri-urban and rural regions of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab states of India


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Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

WHO estimates that, in India, about 38 mill. people are affected by waterborne diseases every year, of which over 75 % are children; 780000 deaths are attributable to contaminated water and nearly 400,000 are due to diarrhoea. This is not only impacting people's health but also their living conditions. The key challenges in addressing the issue of safe water access in India are lack of awareness on contamination, lack of local community participation and lack of institutional capacity to operate at the grass root level

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

While the technologies to filter water have been around for a while, NCWS believes that the solution to tackling the challenges to access and quality of drinking water in the underserved communities lies in building capacity of the community to sustainably manage and own the solution. NCWS facilitates this process by partnering with communities at the decentralised level by bringing to the community -A water filtration facility called Community Water Centre (CWC) (which are usually donated by corporations/govt. agencies) -The technical expertise to operate the machinery -The required behaviour change communication to mobilise the community The community participates by, -Contributing common community resources i.e. land and water, -Support in operations through a local resource who is hired and trained by NCWS -paying a user fee for safe water to meet the operational costs of the solution, and over a period of time develop capacity to own and sustainably manage the solution

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

Having set up over 500 CWCs, NCWS has championed the cause of safe drinking water in 6 states in India. We have so far reached 700,000 people and 2.1 million potential beneficiaries including 263 schools and 489 government crèche centres. The project has hired and trained over 500 individuals at village level and have so far handed over more than 300 water filtration units after building local capacity. Qualitatively, the project has improved the overall living conditions by decreasing the water borne diseases, increasing productive man hours and therefore income. The project created assets for the communities and developed the capacity of the community in taking ownership and in managing and delivering self-sustainable service solutions for a lifetime.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

Our quest for sustainability has grown from a gross profit of -9% in FY 2011-12, to a 30% gross profit in FY 2017 – 18 (6 months, September). While the capital intensive components of the program like machinery, shelter etc are provided by individuals or companies as grant, they are not included in P&L. Currently, as on Sept 2017-18, earned income makes up for 55% of our annual budget and the gap of 45% is covered by our investors. Our path to sustainability is to overcome behaviour change in the community through intense marketing and branding in our existing rural locations improving our social impact and extending into the right locations in urban regions. In our current path, we forecast reaching sustainability in FY 2021-22 at 8% net profit and would not require equity investment

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

We guarantee BIS 10500 stnd. safe drinking water on a 365 day basis while building local capacity to sustainably manage and take ownership of the solution. We do this by constant community engagement by a team of technical, operational and community experts that treat the underserved like customers giving them due respect and dignity. This approach made possible to implement a prepaid user fee model to sustain operations and to handover over 300 CWCs to the communities after building capacity

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

Our story is about a pharmacy graduate with a modest background from a small town in India. He had an audacious vision, to make drugs and medicines accessible to all. During a time when India was heavily dependent on imports for basic drugs, when most common drugs and medicines were not affordable to people, he liaised with Governments, broke innumerable number of barriers and made medicines accessible to common people. This is Late Dr. K. Anji Reddy, our founding father, an entrepreneur par excellence. He had a very provocative question for us. He said if I can make medicines accessible to the common man, why can’t you do the same with water? This is how we took on the massive challenge of making safe drinking water accessible to people in rural India with a pilot of over 400 water centers; as we believed any fewer will not help us understand enough to tackle the problem in India.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

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Attachments (1)

Shivdaspura Success _ Colour.pdf

A NCWS success story from a village in Rajasthan


Join the conversation:


Your idea is good. If you combine the project like mine "conjunctive use of rainwater and ground water..., we can work towards the sustainability.

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