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As We Emerge from the Pandemic, We Must Prioritize Water and Sanitation

If we hope to regain progress on the Sustainable Development Goals—and improve people’s lives— we must improve water service delivery in ways that help countries better manage future crises and improve equitable access to water. The pandemic has had a severe impact on the water industry in Asia and the Pacific but those involved in water supply, sanitation, and wastewater have been particularly hard hit, according to our research. The disruption that the pandemic caused altered key drivers of the water sector—water demand and wastewater discharge—resulting in an abrupt decline in commercial and industrial water demand and wastewater generation. The decline, in turn, has triggered the need for rapid operational adjustments for the hard-hit service providers. The revenue decline is the single biggest financial impact on water service providers. In our survey, two-thirds of water supply service providers saw a decrease in commercial and industrial revenues. Many utilities, particularly the smaller ones, have faced a steep decline in financial reserves mainly due to the sharp decrease in commercial and industrial water consumption which wasn’t fully offset by the increase in household consumption. Utilities that employ cross-subsidies on water tariffs are expected to be especially hit. Many governments have intervened to ensure the continuity of critical water services during the pandemic, in some cases providing direct financial support to water service providers. In the absence of government relief, the financial burden of the pandemic is currently borne by water service providers. In the recovery phase, the gradual opening of commercial activity and increasing mobility has eased the emergency protocols of service providers. However, the possibility of reversion back into emergency mode puts service providers on high alert. Even as commercial activity picks up, the recovery phase does not represent pre-pandemic economic activities and service providers are likely to operate at less than full capacity. Reduced capital and maintenance spending, as well as significant changes to operating and maintenance planning, may be achieved either through government transfers or increased customer tariffs. To support the recovery of the water sector, the immediate priority for recovery should include ensuring public safety through the continuous provision of essential services while protecting the health of staff. Supporting the financial recovery of water service providers will require finding a balance between the need to extend continuing financial relief to customers and ensuring the resumption of critical capital works. Lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic should also be integrated into planning andContinue Reading

Eight Benefits Of Installing A Home Water Filtration System

The delivery of clean water through municipal water supply systems to our homes is one of the hallmarks of modern civilization. Modern water supply systems test and treat water to ensure it’s safe for all of our needs — drinking, cooking, cleaning, and more. You want to be sure that the water we use is as pure as possible, and a practical way to ensure that is to add a water filtration system to your home, whether it is a whole house water filter or a water filter located on the water line in your kitchen sink or another water source. Are you concerned about the water in your area? Check out this handy resource from the EPA that provides information on safe drinking water throughout the United States. Water Filtration The benefits of a home water filtration system Whether your water comes from city water or well-based water systems, you want to ensure that it’s safe for your family. There are many opportunities for contaminants to enter your water, and even if your water is free of contaminants, high levels of minerals can affect the taste of your tap water or make the operation of your dishwasher or clothes washer less efficient. The best way to tackle these issues is to filter your water in your home, at the point where you’ll use it. Here are some of the benefits you’ll enjoy by installing a filtration system. Enjoy safe drinking water all the time The consequences of having unsafe drinking water can be dire. Pollutants like heavy metals can have profound health consequences at worst, or at best make your water unpalatable. While the vast majority of municipal water systems in the United States do an excellent job of treating our water and ensuring water quality, there is always the danger of system failures, so it’s best to be safe. If you filter your water with an effective home water filtration system you’re making a smart investment in the health of your family. Save money If you’re buying bottled water for your family to use at home the costs can add up quickly. For the average family drinking 2-3 bottles of water a day, annual costs can easily exceed $500. That’s money can be recouped in a timely fashion after you install a water filtration system in your home. And there’s another drawback to bottled water… Help preserve our environment You’reContinue Reading

TAPPING THE BENEFITS OF CLEAN WATER, SANITATION, AND HYGIENE

By Katie Dahlstrom, Nestlé Corporate Communications Manager and Helen Medina, Nestlé Senior Public Affairs Manager, Government and Multilateral Relations Clean water is one of the few things in life that never fails to live up to expectations. It is difficult to overstate the importance of having it. In fact, it’s probably impossible. Clean water changes almost everything. This is also why access to and management of clean water, sanitation, and hygiene are included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically, SDG 6, which Nestlé is contributing directly through our partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). But how are we doing this? Tapping the benefits Having clean water and sanitation means being able to avoid exposure to countless diseases. Every year, millions of people die from diseases caused by inadequate water supply, sanitation, and hygiene. Other than pneumonia, diarrhea is the main cause of death in children under age 5. Poor sanitation and unsafe water cause nearly 20% of workplace deaths. It costs around $260 billion in lost productivity every year. But the benefits of having a source of clean water in a community are much wider. When women and girls no longer have to walk miles to fetch water each day, they have more time to learn. Literacy rates rise. And when schools build proper toilet facilities, girls spend more time in school and less time at home.  The United Nations estimates that every Swiss franc invested in water and sanitation leads to four francs in economic returns – which is why investing in this area is such an effective way of creating stronger, more resilient communities. Connecting communities In Côte d’Ivoire, 63% of the population lacks access to proper sanitation. People must often walk miles to collect water, which may not even be safe to drink, as well as use open air, unhygienic shared toilets.  The IFRC is working across Côte d’Ivoire to extend access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene. As the IFRC’s longest-standing corporate partner, Nestlé has helped to deliver clean water and sanitation to almost 110,000 people in Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa-growing communities for the past 10 years.  A total of 181 water pumps and 93 blocks of school toilets have been built or renovated as well as more than 7,000 family latrines.  Education has been an essential part of the effort too. More than 200 community water and sanitation committees and 93 school hygiene clubs have been established since 2007.  Their members promote hygiene in theirContinue Reading

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