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Earth Day 2021: Restore Our Earth. Q&A with Xylem President & CEO Patrick Decker

Solving water to create a more sustainable world.

How is the water sector advancing sustainability and helping “Restore Our Earth?”

“The water sector has so much experience on sustainability issues, we solve them every day, for every community across the globe, managing and protecting this precious resource, which is fundamental to sustaining human life and restoring our earth. So our role in advancing sustainability is vital. Today we have the opportunity to help accelerate progress – first, by working together to innovate and improve how the world conserves, optimizes and manages water to better protect our ecosystem and make water available to more people and communities around the world; secondly, by coming together and ensuring our voices our heard in the global conversation around sustainability, so we can share our insights and experiences, and help drive change.”

Why is it important to look to digital solutions to help solve water and aging infrastructure challenges?

“The fact is, the world is closer to solving major water and infrastructure challenges today than we have ever been. Digital technologies, which have already revolutionized other industries, are transforming water. These solutions are creating major water, energy and cost efficiencies, making water more accessible and affordable to families, and helping communities become more resilient to the impacts of climate change. By embracing the power of data, we can help more build a more water-secure and sustainable future.”

What obstacles do the current generation need to overcome to create a more water-secure future for the next generation?

“As the world looks to shape a stronger future following this period of global disruption from the pandemic, we have a huge opportunity to reimagine the next chapter for water and adopt solutions that help make communities more resilient and sustainable. But no one can solve water alone. We need to bring together stakeholders from across the water sector and the globe to embrace and accelerate innovative technologies that optimize water management and help solve the greatest water challenges. By fostering collaboration between technology providers, utilities and other users of water, policymakers, NGOs, start-ups, universities, students and the general public, we can raise awareness and drive adoption. Together, we can solve water in bold and unprecedented ways.”

How can the water sector drive public engagement around water issues?

“I believe one of the best ways to drive public awareness and create a mindshift is by engaging and mobilizing youth. The younger generation grew up with technology and understands the incredible possibilities that digital technologies can bring. They believe in sustainability and social change, and bring fresh perspectives and a willingness to push boundaries. At Xylem, we’re focused on igniting students around water issues through our sponsorship of the Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition, and programs and partnerships to engage youth on water issues through the power of sports, storytelling and science. We’re committed to inspiring and fostering a new generation of water innovators and stewards to restore our earth, and create a more sustainable future.”

Learn more about  Xylem's initiatives

Read about Xylem’s innovative partnership with City Football Group, parent of Manchester City Football Club, to raise awareness of water issues.

Read about Xylem’s Ignite youth program.