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Press Release

World Water Day Message: GE Urges Support of Water Reuse Practices

March 22, 2010

Technology Exists Today; But Fiscal and Policy Incentives Urgently Needed

NAIROBI, March 22, 2010 -- As the world marks the World Water Day on Monday, GE is calling for the widespread adoption of water reuse practices, which can help address the global threat of clean water scarcity.

Roger Obare, Territory Manager for GE Water & Process Technologies, said the World Water Day offers an excellent platform for raising awareness in Kenya about the critical need to increase the quantity of the country's supply of fresh water.

According to the United Nations Development Program, more than one billion people, or about one in six worldwide, do not have safe drinking water, and more than two billion lack access to adequate sanitation. If current water usage trends continue, by the year 2025 two-thirds of the world's population won't have enough clean water.

Obare said using modern water treatment technology to treat wastewater would improve the quantity of available water in the country. He noted that over 150,000 litres of water was wasted per hour, which could be recovered if appropriate technologies were put into use.

"With supportive frameworks in place, we can make great progress in creating a society that adheres to and promotes water reuse," he said.

GE Water provides proven technologies and solutions for water treatment and reuse, and continues to invest heavily to enhance current products and to develop new, even more advanced technologies. The company offers a diverse selection of technologies for the water treatment industry ranging from desalination to cooling water solutions, mobile water to petrochemical solutions, and water recovery to boiler water solutions.

Obare said there was need to start harvesting seawater as an alternative source for domestic consumption, institutional and industrial use. Many countries around the world, especially in North Africa and Middle East are now using seawater as their only source of portable water.

He said technologies were available that make it economical to treat seawater. "Mombasa has no running water in the taps, yet we are blessed with an ocean a few metres away. Why not embrace desalination technology?" he posed.

Obare said boreholes were not a sustainable source of fresh water. "The depth of boreholes is increasing and hence it is more costly to drill boreholes. Similarly, the quality of borehole water is not guaranteed. Some water has high levels of fluoride that causes florosis or browning of teeth and affects the skeletal structure of children. It therefore calls for urgent and innovative measures such as waste water reuse and desalination going forward, he said.

About GE
GE is a diversified global infrastructure, finance and media company that's built to meet essential world needs. From energy, water, transportation and health to access to money and information, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide.
For more information, visit the company's Web site at

Rania Rostom

business unit