The future of water conservation: Promoting sanitation and product innovation help meet future water needs

Energy is required to pump, treat and heat water, and therefore the practice of using water efficiently and conserving water can help reduce greenhouse gas emission. Water & Wastewater Asia speaks with Satoshi Konagai, leader, LIXIL Water Technology, Asia-Pacific, to find out more.

Having access to safe and hygienic sanitation would not just reduce the issues vulnerable communities face but empower them to take proactive steps to economically empower themselves while remaining health, declared Satoshi Konagai, leader, LIXIL Water Technology, Asia-Pacific.

To highlight the impact sanitation and hygiene has on the global community, the United Nations (UN) created the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 and particularly named SDG 6 for Clean Water and Sanitation. However, it was found that about two billion people do not have access to safe and sanitary toilets, according to the UN, with approximately 673 million people still regularly defecating in the open.

Konagai told Water & Wastewater Asia: “The lack of proper collection, treatment and disposal of faecal matter has, in many instances, led to environmental contamination of water sources.

“The result of this is a devasting human cost, especially in the developing world and for vulnerable groups such as women and children. Child susceptibility to diarrheal diseases caused by unsanitary living conditions, sexual assaults cases of women or children while trying to find somewhere private to relieve themselves, and a worsening of the gender gap in education due to the lack of sanitary school toilets for girls are tangible community impacts.”

And with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Konagai described the situation has become “exacerbated” despite growing awareness on personal hygiene and cleanliness. He elaborated: “About 2.3 billion people, or one in three of the world’s population, lack basic handwashing facilities at home. This lack of handwashing facilities increases the risk of a more rampant spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19.”  

The full article is published on the Water & Wastewater Asia Nov/Dec 2021 issue. To continue reading, click here.