According to the United Nations Development Programme, more than 1 billion people, or about one in six worldwide, have no access to safe drinking water, and more than 2 billion lack access to adequate sanitation. If current freshwater usage trends continue, by the year 2025, two-thirds of the world’s people won’t have enough clean water.

In dealing with water scarcity, conservation is always the first step. But conservation is often not enough. Even in developed nations like the United States, water resources are being threatened by climate change, drought, population growth, waste and the growing demand for energy, which requires enormous amounts of water to produce. GE sees the importance of achieving water efficiency across our portfolio of businesses, and is committed to providing proven technologies and solutions for water treatment and reuse.

GE is focusing its development on solutions that address the challenges facing our customers: improving energy efficiency in water treatment and recycling; lowering the total cost of operations; improving the protection and management of assets; and addressing regulatory requirements and/or sustainability goals. We’re the only company in the Water & Process industry that offers such a comprehensive set of products and services, ranging from chemical treatment for cooling towers and wastewater to ultrafiltration, advanced membrane filtration, desalination and mobile technology solutions. And our Appliance business has a suite of appliances that are more water-efficient than industry standards.

Washing Machines

GE washing machines sold in 2013 will save approximately 4 billion gallons of water per year when compared to government standards. This translates to 40 billion gallons saved over an average product life1 of these machines, with an estimated water savings of $335 million2 over the same time period.

1Average product life assumed to be 10 years based on Department of Energy estimates.
2Estimate based on Energy Star water cost $8.37/1,000 gallons.

Dishwashers

GE dishwashers sold in 2013 will save approximately 200 million gallons of water per year when compared to government standards. This translates to 2 billion gallons saved over an average product life1 of these machines with an estimated water savings of $16 million2 over the same time period.

1Average product life assumed to be 10 years based on Department of Energy estimates.
2Estimate based on Energy Star water cost $8.37/1000 gallons.

As an example, the GE portfolio includes a broad scope of filtration solutions that effectively remove suspended solids from water, ranging from large particles like silt all the way down to microscopic bacteria 1,000 times smaller than a human hair. The cornerstone of the filtration product line is the ZeeWeed hollow-fiber ultrafiltration (UF) membrane that separates particles, bacteria and viruses from water or wastewater. Nearly 1,000 water treatment plants worldwide use this technology to produce superior quality drinking water and to meet or exceed stringent wastewater treatment and water-reuse standards.

Click here to view our water-related performance goals and metrics.