Panel moderator Jim Van Eerden, CEO of 5th Element Group, introduced this panel discussion by noting that an estimated 600 million people are suffering from acute water shortages. And while the government of India had embarked to get all of its citizens access to clean water by 2024, the increasing demand corresponds to decreasing supplies of the nation’s water resources.
“Conservation efforts are accordingly essential,” Van Eerden said, “and no movement is more strategic in this regard than Mission Paani.”
Leaders including Meena Narula, India CEO of Water for People, Narasimhan Eswar, CEO of RB India and Prahbat Pani, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Tata Trusts came together in the Goal 17 Partners space in Davos to address this severe crisis and recognize the importance of building public/private partnerships to address it.
Mission Paani (“paani” means water in Hindi) is a new movement to address the water crisis in India. Aimed at changing attitudes and behavior to improve water use efficiency, Mission Paani uses innovative campaign design strategies that produce lasting social impact while advancing partner KPIs.
All of the panelists recognized the importance of education and cultural influence to ultimately spark a change in behavior, so that people conserve and respect water.
Of course, the challenge of changing the behavior of hundreds of millions of people was acknowledged as no simple task. Pani, who helps lead the 127-year-old Tata Trusts’ expansive efforts in working alongside the government of India to address the water crisis, believes the solutions are at hand but require political will and unprecedented commitment in partnerships.
Even though India is facing unique challenges, Jakob Trollback, CEO of The New Division and designer of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, pointed out that “the culture of water is worldwide,” and that global support will rally resources behind RB’s leadership to help Mission Paani succeed.