Xylem outline four ways that water treatment and reuse can help planet
World Water Day was last month, and Earth Day was this month – it’s a time for reassessing the impact we are having on the planet, and asking how this impact can be halted or reversed. Global water technology Xylem Inc., which is at the heart of the struggle to avert an impending water crisis exacerbated by rising populations and global warming, recently outlined four ways in which water treatment and reuse can help to save the planet.
Citing a new report by the World Health Organisation, Xylem claims that 1.8 billion people worldwide are accessing water through sources that are contaminated with fecal matter. This puts them at risk for risk of serious diseases like cholera, typhoid, and polio. But even less-traditionally dangerous illnesses can become life threatening under the right conditions: 361,000 children annually die from diarrhea. Water treatment and reuse can transform potable water sources and vastly upgrade hygiene and sanitation on a national level.
It is the ability to transform the planet’s source of drinkable water that may have the most impact over the next decade. By 2030, global demand for water will rise by 50%, mostly in urban areas. To fulfill this demand, water technologies will become crucial, as only a fraction of the world’s water is naturally potable, and most of that is inaccessible.
It is also true that this clean water will be instrumental in ensuring food security. Wastewater is an increasingly popular irrigator for farmer’s fields, providing valuable nutrients and allowing for a reduction in the amount of chemical fertilizer used. Saudi Arabia is an example of a country that is embracing this trend. By 2025, it plans to reuse 100% of the wastewater produced in cities, and a good portion of this water will be used in the country’s agriculture and irrigation.
Reusing wastewater can also make good business sense. According to UN-Water, 22% of global water consumption is industrial in nature. As water becomes scarcer, water-related risks also become greater. But, by treating their wastewater, companies can improve security and save money: National Raisin, one of the world’s largest raisin producers, saves $300,000 a year in this way.
Xylem Inc. is one of the world’s foremost advocates and providers of water treatment and recycling technology. It is behind numerous ‘firsts’ in the sector, such as the provision of Sehore in India’s first wastewater plant, and the biggest water recycling facility in the Middle East.
Dominion holds Xylem Inc. in its Global Trends Managed Fund.
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