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Clean water for a sustainable society

Today 1 in 3 people don’t have safe drinking water. Tomorrow will bring new challenges ─ the United Nations (UN) expects a 40% shortfall in freshwater by 2030. How can we expand access to water while protecting this limited resource?

Clean water for a sustainable society

We need water to survive. But there are significant challenges to our world’s water supply. How can we rise to the occasion to make sure that no one goes without? First, it helps to agree on a plan. The UN has introduced a common goal: clean water and sanitation for everyone by 2030. That means safe water for about 8 billion people in less than 10 years.

The only way to make good on this commitment is to use water more responsibly. Water utilities and water-intensive industries have important roles to play. So do water treatment solutions providers like Kemira. It’s time to take a hard look at water quality, sustainable solutions for water treatment and water reuse. Each of these areas are critical for a safe, sufficient water supply. Read more about water and sustainability at Kemira.

GOAL:

by 2030

Clean water and sanitation for everyone

NOW:

33%

People don’t have safe drinking water

In 2025:

50%

of population living in water-stressed areas

Chemical treatment of water is a very efficient way of ensuring high water quality.

Improving water quality

Only 3% of our planet’s water is freshwater, and only a fraction of that is available for people. Hardly any is good enough to use without some type of treatment. Raw water contains organic matter, decomposing materials, clay, sand, algae, bacteria, viruses, and other particles. Chemical treatment of water is a very effective way of ensuring high water quality.

There are common challenges that affect the global water supply: climate change, plastic waste and urbanization, to name a few. These issues are impacting communities around the world. From unreliable tap water to oceans of plastic, it’s important for policymakers at the local, national and international levels to work alongside key stakeholders to safeguard water. Public awareness and trust in water quality are in a key role.

Renewing and reusing our water

Making sure there is enough water for drinking, sanitation, recreation, agriculture and industry is in everyone’s best interest.  At Kemira, we know it’s not just what comes out of the tap that matters, it’s how water is treated after people have used it. Nutrients, impurities and even particles like microplastics must be removed before wastewater is returned to rivers, streams and other waterways.

The water treatment process takes a lot of energy. To help meet global climate agreements, many water utilities and water-intensive industries are looking for cost-effective ways to reduce their energy use and overall carbon footprint. There’s usually an economic upside; energy efficiency leads to long-term cost savings. With the help of chemistry, energy-usage of the water treatment process can be lowered and sustainable energy generated (biogas).

Another solution worth scaling is water reuse. According to the World Health Organization, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas by 2025. Much of that is driven by climate change. Regulators, utilities and industries should work hand-in-hand now to set up robust regulatory frameworks for water reuse. This will make it easier to implement solutions and guarantee enough water for manufacturing, agriculture and the general public while ensuring water quality and safety. Again, chemistry helps in water reuse.

Working in partnership

Clean water and sanitation for everyone by 2030 is ambitious. But it’s a worthy goal. That’s why the UN is urging organizations to work together to make it happen. It’s part of their plan called the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a global roadmap for sustainability and prosperity. There are 17 SDGs; clean water and sanitation is SDG 6. If you’re looking at ways to address SDG 6, we invite you to check out how we’re making our business more sustainable at Kemira, and helping our customers by providing solutions.

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Sustainable development goals

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