#WaterAndHealth - The importance of water and sanitation: Initiatives and Projects

The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak underlines more than ever the importance of water and sanitation. The safety and quality of water are fundamental to human development and wellbeing. Providing access to safe water is one of the most effective instruments in promoting health and reducing poverty. Effective ‘water and health’ risk management in all industries and societies are fundamental to protect public health.

The Sustainable Development Goal from item 6 described the essence of why we do what we do and why it is so important: ‘Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’. Several of our Nijhuis Industries initiatives and projects are currently in progress all over the world for ‘water and health’.

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Please find below several Nijhuis Industries initiatives and projects about 'Water and Health'

“No time to lose”

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​Supporting ‘Health Promotors, The Global Water Tour’

They are a non-profit organisation that teaches hygiene and health promotion to adults and children living in the poorer, under-developed areas of South Africa. This education is essential as every year South African statistics show increasing numbers of children and adults dying of preventable diseases like gastro-enteritis (diarrhea, dehydration), HIV /AIDS and TB.

The Amsterdam International Water Week (AIWW), Nijhuis Industries and World Waternet among others have proudly contributed to start of the Health Promotors Global Water Tour at AIWW and Aquatech Amsterdam 2019 and highly recommend to experience their Water4Life program and enjoy their unique and inspiring educational theatre ‘now or never’.

All in one solution for decentralised sanitation, clean water and food production

‘From Pee to Tea’ with Nijhuis Semilla Sanitation Solution
By treating several concentrated water streams, we are currently into a transition to deliver more ‘water on demand’. Concentrated water streams are collected at campsites, remote areas and villages, and waterscarce regions or disaster reliefs. By combining sanitation, clean water and food production together, a decentralised ‘all-in-one’ solution is provided.

The first step is to provide hygienic toilets and washing facilities and the second step is to close the food&drink loop, by providing on-site drinking water and organic fertilizer for food production. The solution is portable and can be used anywhere in the world to give between 500 to 400.000 people access to safe sanitation. For example, remote villages benefit from having a way to sanitise their wastewater and turn it directly back into a usable resource for growing their crops and keeping spaces clean and sanitized . To make the system completely self-sufficient in energy, solar panels can be installed to generate sustainable energy.

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The increase of pharmaceutical residues in water and how to remove them

Nijhuis Pharmaceutical Residues Removal Solutions
Over the past few years more and more researches have been conducted on our water-quality and the organic substances that are present in our surface- and drinking water. Due to the recalcitrant nature of some of these substances (such as pharmaceutical residues), the concentration is increasing in our wastewater.

Nijhuis Industries is working with several partners to develop local solutions for decentralised and centralised facilities to remove pharmaceuticals residues from wastewater to follow-up on upcoming changes in local environmental and water regulations, like for example in the EU Water Framework Guideline. For future water reuse application purposes it is going to be a small step to combine for example existing advanced oxidation technologies with direct nano filtration technology to provide high-quality water.

Water scarcity: Increased drought in dry areas and expansion of dry areas

Solutions for high-quality effluent to river and reuse of wastewater

Over the past decades, more and more areas have suffered from dryness. Global warming affects evapotranspiration—the movement of water into the atmosphere from land and water surfaces and plants due to evaporation and transpiration— which is expected to lead to the increase of drought in dry areas and expansion of dry areas. Several countries in Europe (e.g. the Netherlands, Poland, Germany, Spain and Italy) who never felt the hard suffer of dry periods before now need to change their water management strategies to keep the water in the areas and find smarter methods to use water and reduce the water footprint. Areas like the Middle East who already suffer from the drought periods need to also prepare for increased periods of droughts.

Our water supplies are shrinking at the same time as climate change is generating more intense rain, the culprit is the drying of soils pointing to a world where drought-like conditions will become the new normal, especially in regions that are already dry. Local ‘water-on-demand’ solutions will help to keep the water in the area wherein it is used instead of discharging low-quality effluent to sewers or rivers. Several Nijhuis Industries water projects around the globe are already in construction or implemented to reduce the impact of water scarcity.

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Increase of (drinking) water production from sea, boreholes and wells to fulfill the world’s increased demand for water and food

The increase of the worldwide population will lead to a growing demand for water and food. The population of the world will be 8.6 billion in 2030 and 9.8 billion in 2050. Water is a finite resource having to serve exponentially more people and usage, and so ensuring everyone has access to a reliable supply is crucial to human survival and sustainable progress.

More and more water projects are now being executed and scheduled in the upcoming future to fulfill our water and food needs. Nijhuis Industries is working with several partners on producing clean and safe drinking water for domestic and industrial purposes.

The movie is showing our latest example, which is a large-scale and compact DAF pre-treatment for an innovative dual-mode desalination plant in Singapore.

Progress of goal 6 in 2019 by the UN:

“Despite progress, billions of people still lack safe water, sanitation and handwashing facilities. Data suggests that achieving universal access to even basic sanitation service by 2030 would require doubling the current annual rate of progress. More efficient use and management of water are critical to addressing the growing demand for water, threats to water security and the increasing frequency and severity of droughts and floods, which result from climate change. From the time of writing, most countries are unlikely to reach full implementation of integrated water resources management by 2030.”

Source: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg6

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