Clean water is an absolute necessity for the existence and prosperity of our world today. For decades, Sika has built a reputation as the leading expert in waterproofing, safeguarding water resources, and strengthening infrastructure resilience.

Worldwide, 2.3 billion people are affected by water scarcity. In contrast, in the U.S. alone, 23 billion liters of drinking water are lost every day due to aging infrastructure. Moreover, around 80% of wastewater from both developed and developing countries is discharged untreated, posing significant risks to the environment and human health. Recognizing this urgency, countries around the world are now investing heavily in water security, with the USA allocating CHF 30 billion to this cause, followed by Saudi Arabia (CHF 19 billion), and India (CHF 16 billion).

2.3 billion people
are affected by water scarcity

of wastewater is discharged untreated

Securing the water cycle

A key solution to this challenge lies in averting the loss and contamination of drinking water. Across Europe, many drinking water supply systems have been in operation for hundreds of years. Regular maintenance, especially of their waterproofing, is essential to prevent water loss.

Water loss in selected countries

As an example, Sika was instrumental in the renovation of a century-old water tank in Olletas, Spain. This tank is critical as it provides the entire drinking water needs for the Málaga population. The renovation included a complete refurbishment of the tank’s structure and its joints, as well as the installation of a new roofing system.

Ensuring water quality also hinges on safeguarding the concrete in the water reservoirs, which are expected to last more than 80 years. Recently, Sika provided a wide range of waterproofing and concrete admixtures, designed to reinforce and protect the new water plant in Aarau, Switzerland, from corrosion and chemicals. Sika was also involved in the construction of Santiago de Chile’s water supply system, which provides 70% of the capital’s drinking water needs.  


Water plant in Aarau,  Switzerland
Image: Aarau’s reservoirs, built between 1899 and 1941, needed renovation and expansion to meet the future needs of this Swiss region. This led to the design of a modern reservoir with a projected lifespan of 80 to 100 years

Protecting the environment from wastewater

When untreated wastewater is released into the environment, it leads to serious repercussions. When contaminants from residential areas and industrial facilities pollute a regional ecosystem, this not only damages the flora and fauna in these habitats, but also the source of clean drinking water for the affected population. As a response to this, Sika is offering a comprehensive portfolio to seal wastewater treatment plants, protect them from corrosion and chemical damage, and ensure that they are fit for long-term operation. In addition, Sika estimates an average annual growth rate of 5% by 2028 for investments in the construction of drinking water and wastewater facilities. 

Namami Gange projects

According to the United Nations, 80% of the world’s wastewater is currently discharged untreated into the environment worldwide. In urban centers, the volume of wastewater is nearly double that of rural areas, as living standards and water availability have increased.

In India, for example, 53 cities have a population of over one million people. In response to the country’s rapid population growth and escalating industrialization, the Indian government has launched the Namami Gange program, investing CHF 2.75 billion in its wastewater network. This provided Sika the opportunity to restore the existing structures using products such as Sika MonoTop® and Sikagard®.

The program includes more than 230 projects along the 2,600-kilometer stretch of the Ganges River. This initiative includes the construction and upgrade of wastewater treatment plants across India. As part of this program, three infrastructure projects with a combined capacity to treat 280 million liters of wastewater per day are being equipped with Sika systems to ensure their functionality.

The industrial sector also benefits greatly from Sika’s offerings. The almost 30 km² Shanghai Chemical Industrial Park is one of China’s largest corporate investments. However, the park’s wastewater treatment plants have been experiencing problems with their acid-resistant tiles. The process of replacing them would have been time-consuming and costly.

Sikagard®-7000 CR system was used to spray seal 12,000 m² of the wastewater treatment tanks, making them resistant to both moisture and chemicals. This product, together with the innovative Xolutec® technology, has been part of Sika’s portfolio since the acquisition of MBCC.

Sika’s approach to water protection sets new standards in the industry. By combining innovative technologies with a commitment to sustainability, Sika is not only addressing today’s challenges, but also paving the way for future generations to have access to clean, safe drinking water.