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26 Feb 09. ITT launches Watermark. ITT Watermark links to our corporate value of responsibility. ITT people the world over believe they have a responsibility to care for the environment and our communities. Through ITT Watermark, we intend to leverage the full capacity of our resources – our people, our technology and our financial strength – to make a sustainable mark in the world by providing safe water to children and families in need. With ITT Watermark, we are taking a sustainable approach to our water philanthropy. We recognize that ITT alone cannot solve the global water crisis and we are embarking on strategic partnerships to create extraordinary impact. We are focusing on the future and establishing goals for our own accountability, which we hope will inspire others.
ITT and its partners – Water For People and Mercy Corps – share a common belief and approach. We believe the best way to create sustainable results is to empower local communities. Together, we act as indirect facilitators, providing water technology, sanitation facilities and hygiene education. These solutions allow local governments, the private sector and community members to effectively operate and manage their water systems year after year.
Safe Water in Schools
ITT has committed $3 million over the next three years to bring safe water, sanitation and hygiene education to 300 schools in water-stressed regions of the developing world – a pledge that will ultimately improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of children and their families. Our support of schools will help reach long-term goals of sustainability, which can be achieved with 100% water and sanitation coverage in each community, a strong local water and sanitation sector and the demonstration of successful practices that can be replicated in the future. In 2008, as part of ITT Watermark, ITT launched its strategic partnership with Water For People and supported 52 schools in West Bengal, India; Quiché, Guatemala and Yoro, Honduras. This support financed new water and sanitation infrastructure for rural areas, updates for existing systems in need of repair and the development of innovative hygiene education techniques. Together, Water For People and ITT directly impacted more than 36,000 school children, in addition to their families and community members. In 2009, we are expanding the partnership to support an additional 100 schools and 80,000 students.
Safe Water in the Face of Disaster
ITT is committed to securing safe water supplies for people in times of emergency. Through ITT Watermark, we have established an internal Emergency Response Committee and have developed a strategic partnership with Mercy Corps. Our focus is on relief and recovery efforts, which includes the provision of dewatering and water purification equipment as well as on-the-ground rebuilding and recovery of water and sanitation infrastructure long after disaster strikes. As a company, ITT is also working to develop an affordable, portable disaster relief water treatment system, designed specifically for poor communities that face contaminated water supplies.