Shaping the Future of Water

“We develop innovative solutions for our customers with a clear aim in mind – to help mitigate major water challenges and make communities more resilient.”

Dave Flinton is Chief Innovation, Technology & Product Management Officer at Xylem, helping the company accelerate how we solve water on every front…

Pollution. Flooding. Droughts. Once in 500-year storms happening every few months. If you look at the news on any given day, you can see how urgent water issues are intensifying. All this is making water innovation more important than ever before. Because you can’t solve escalating water challenges with the same approaches. You have to find new ways to leverage technologies and expertise to solve new problems and scale – to meet the demands of our times.

At Xylem, innovation is what drives us every day. We have the broadest set of water technologies, products, services and solutions in the sector, spanning both the clean water and the wastewater sectors. This gives us a powerful opportunity and responsibility to lead. We’re combining our core offerings with groundbreaking digital technologies to help transform the industry – using data, machine learning and artificial intelligence to create more valuable insights. Insights that help water operators make better decisions. And that ultimately leads to more efficient, affordable and resilient infrastructure, benefiting communities and advancing sustainability.

We know that all innovation begins with the customer. We strive to develop technologies and solutions based on a deep, deep understanding of their true needs. Our teams spend hours walking alongside and in the shoes of our customers, experiencing their challenges and living their pain points. And it is when we match that with the entirety of our internal and external innovation ecosystem that we make a real difference. Like our decision intelligence offerings, which are leveraging digital twin technology to prevent combined sewer overflows (CSOs) and optimize existing infrastructure, while savings billions of dollars. And our AI-powered offerings that help prevent treated water lost due to broken infrastructure, making clean water more available and avoiding capital costs.

We also believe that innovation must take many forms, from providing more connected products and intelligent solutions, to business model innovations that help enable water and wastewater service providers to adopt more sustainable technologies, to supply chain innovation to improve speed and reliability, to building a diverse and inclusive culture to foster new ideas and perspectives. We’re also taking more innovative, holistic approaches to product design, packaging and manufacturing to reduce the environmental impact of what we do.

Our work to drive both innovation and sustainability is aligned and complementary, as we develop new solutions for our customers with a clear aim in mind – to help the world mitigate major water challenges like scarcity and affordability, and help make communities more resilient and sustainable.

Water and sustainability issues are accelerating. We know this. So we are accelerating. We’re doing this by working closely with our partners and pushing forward on all fronts to solve one of the greatest challenges of our time. We will not get there without thinking about these big challenges in new ways, and we will not get there trying to do this alone.

Of all the jobs I have had in water and at Xylem, this one is the most exciting. Every day we are helping shape the future – one that’s more water-secure and sustainable for all.

by David Flinton