Q: With regard to the need to preserve groundwater, how important is it for us to protect this resource?
A: Groundwater is a critical source of water for humankind. Over 2.5 billion people around the world rely primarily on groundwater resources to meet their basic daily water requirements.

This source of water is used for industrial purposes, agriculture, irrigation and drinking. Therefore, the importance of preserving groundwater is clearly understood.

Sri Lanka’s groundwater resources are thought to be approximately 7,800 million m3 per year and it is estimated that around 72 percent of the rural population depend on groundwater for domestic usage.

Q: What are your suggestions for the responsible and sustainable use and conservation of groundwater?
A: Groundwater is a scarce resource, which is depleting at a rapid pace mainly due to human activities. Surface and subsurface contamination, landfills, waste disposal and saltwater contamination can be major threats to these reserves.

Adapting to the 3Rs – the principle of Reducing, Reusing and Recycling – plays a significant role in conserving this resource.

Sustaining groundwater is of utmost importance to us since our product Aquafresh is sourced directly from aquifers located 200 ft beneath the bedrock in a geologically unique rainforest in Sri Lanka.

Adopting a strict groundwater management system with local entities is a crucial factor in sustaining groundwater. Moreover, proper waste management systems to minimise the effects of contamination and suitable management systems of pumping to prevent an overdraft of groundwater are critical in conserving this precious resource.

Q: How successful have local corporates been in making progress in their water sustainability initiatives?
A: Water sustainability initiatives aim to meet current needs without jeopardising future generations’ ability to do so.

Many Sri Lankan corporates target CSR programmes involving water sustainability and conservation. I have also seen these corporates promoting water preservation in the simplest ways, such as having a note saying ‘turn off the tap when not in use’ near sinks and outdoor taps.

Q: How does forestation play a role in preserving groundwater?
A: Sri Lanka’s forest coverage plays a critical role in sustaining the quality and volume of water available.

However, deforestation is a major threat to the country. It was reported that in 2019, Sri Lanka’s forest cover was only 16.5 percent. In 2017, it was reported to be 46.2 percent whereas in 1982, the forest density stood at around 82 percent.

I believe that if a national policy is implemented insisting that all 22 million Sri Lankans plant a tree each year, the next five years could see a gain of over 100 million trees – and this will contribute to the country’s forest coverage.

Therefore, we should all strive to increase forestation and reduce deforestation, to sustain water and life in our beautiful country.

Q: What are the latest trends when it comes to water conservation?
A: Conservation of water is vital in preserving life on Earth, freshwater being a threatened resource.

One major trend in conserving water is recycling, with governments around the world investing in waste water treatment programmes using modern technology. This recycled water is then used for many purposes including agriculture and animal husbandry.

Another trend is the implementation of effective irrigation techniques, with farmers adapting to new technologies such as drip irrigation systems and water flow meters to prevent overwatering.

Even though domestic consumption accounts for a small percentage of total global water consumption, there’s a trend in developing efficient technologies for home appliances – such as low water consuming flush toilets and efficient home garden watering tools.

Rainwater harvesting – where runoff rainwater is collected, and used for domestic, corporate and agricultural purposes – is now a popular trend globally.

Ocean water desalination is also on the rise in dry zone countries, with governments investing billions of dollars in the technology. This desalinated water could be used for agricultural purposes and human consumption.

Q: How would you describe the competition – and what strategies do you employ to stay ahead?
A: Coming up with strategies for a company shouldn’t always be targeted to stay ahead of the competition. If you provide the best for your customers, you’ll inevitably stay ahead of the competition.

To ensure the best service to our customers at all times, we follow strict procedures at all our locations including the factory. Aquafresh is SLS, ISO 9001, ISO 22000, HACCP and Ministry of Health certified.

Aquafresh is the only bottled water company in Sri Lanka to be certified by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), making us the highest standardised bottled water supplier in Sri Lanka. Aquafresh strives to serve the community through its CSR initiatives, which include beach cleanup and PET bottle recycling programmes in partnership with Eco Spindles.

Furthermore, we’re in the process of adding a brand-new product to our product portfolio – 100 percent natural and packed with health benefits – which will be launched very soon. So you can look forward to that too.

Shanil Perera
Chief Operating Officer
Telephone 4333222  |  Email info@aquafresh.lk  |  Website aquafresh.lk