It is said that water shortage is the biggest problem of the 21st century, and an estimated two billion people will be suffering of water shortage by the year 2025. Humans have depended on large and centralised water supply systems throughout its history. These large and centralised water supply systems consist of dams, water treatment plants, and pipelines, which incur significant costs. Many problems are on the rise, including; areas lacking infrastructure to support its increasing population, areas with polluted water resources, and scarcity of water due to climate change. It is thought that these problems will continue to grow throughout the 21st century.
The conventional, large and centralized water supply systems have many flaws. Impact on environment is great when constructing large infrastructures. Also, in Japan, a total of over one hundred trillion yen has been invested over the period of 50 years. Yet, the water infrastructure in Japan is not complete. On the other hand, there are areas in Japan where decrease in population has left infrastructures unused. Pipelines placed underground are top issues with regard to both time and cost.
There is a structural problem with conventional water supply systems. These systems cannot adjust itself to the changing population. Because installation takes time, there persists a lack of water supply during population growth. When population decreases, reducing the infrastructure is not easy, and maintaining the system becomes a burden for the government. Pipelines placed underground must be replaced regularly, and many municipal authorities are undergoing difficulties to afford these assets.
WOTA proposes a future where every person owns their own water system. By providing a water system that is affordable by a family or a small community, we believe we can realize a future where everyone can live anywhere. We think that doing so would also provide greater freedom for building design and city planning.
To make this possible, the two indicators we focus on are 1) wastewater quality and 2) household water self-sufficiency. Wastewater can be categorized into two, depending how dirty they are: Grey Water and Black Water. We are developing a system that can treat these two types of water, and eventually, we will create a system that can self-sustain drinking water within the home. With each improvement we make, we can extend the use of this system to a larger array of appliances, leading to the increase of the household water self-sufficiency ratio, and ultimately achieve 100% recycling of household water.