2016 Sustainability Report

2016 Sustainability Report

Water Solutions

A Water
Secure Future

Solving water is more imperative now than ever. Demand for fresh water is rising rapidly due to population growth, industrial expansion and increased agricultural development, with consumption estimated to double every 20 years. At the same time, the availability of fresh water for this growing population is declining due to draining of aquifers, increased pollution and climate change.

Even in developed countries with sufficient clean water supply, existing infrastructure for water supply is aging and inadequately funded. In the United States, for example, degrading pipe systems, on average, leak one out of every 6 gallons of water en route from a treatment plant to the customer.


In late 2016, Xylem completed its acquisition of Sensus, a leading developer of advanced technologies for the intelligent use and conservation of water and energy resources. Sensus’s smart metering technologies, network communications and advanced data analytics services not only augment our water-focused offerings, but they also enable us to expand beyond water to the broader field of utilities monitoring, including critical energy services. As a new, combined company, we are better positioned to meet our goal of being a leading provider of systems intelligence solutions — so we can deliver solutions to our customers’ challenges that are smarter than ever.

Meeting these challenges is Xylem’s reason for being. Our solutions address all stages of the cycle of water, from water transport, treatment and testing to the uses of water in industrial, residential, commercial, and agricultural applications. We have one of the farthest-reaching distribution footprints in the world, and our opportunity remains vast. Xylem has a strategy to further penetrate this global market as we help bring about a future where today’s water challenges no longer exist.

Three Ways of Looking at Water

We view water solutions through the lens of water productivity, water quality and resilience:

  • Water productivity refers to increasing the efficiency of how clean water is produced, distributed and consumed.
  • Water quality refers to the efficient and effective management of wastewater.
  • Resilience refers to the management of water-related risks and the resilience of water infrastructure.

Xylem’s customers often face all three of these challenges, ranging from inefficient, aging water distribution networks, which require increases in water productivity; to energy-intensive or unreliable wastewater management systems, which require increases in water quality; to exposure to natural disasters such as floods or droughts, which demand increases in resilience. Our deep expertise with this diverse range of water challenges allows us to solve water across all sectors, in all parts of the world.