Community Safe Drinking Water
Providing safe, accessible, affordable and sustainable drinking water to communities battling water contamination in India
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.
Naandi Community Water Services Private Limited
Scaling (the solution has passed the previous stages and is growing its impact on a regional or global scale)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Secondary Focus Area
Headquarters location: Country
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
The prepaid card services as a promise from the users to not only adopt a safe source of drinking water but also the contribute in sustaining the operations in the community
Apart from hiring and training local individuals on operations, a CWC also indirectly supports local entrepreneurs such as distributors who provide an added service to of the users
Information, education and communication activities conducted in schools to bring about awareness amongst children on health and WASH. NCWS considers children to be the change agents, who will drive behaviour change in the community.
Community sourcing water from a CWC
One of our Community Water Centres (CWCs) in Haryana
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?