Water Issue Resolution Projects
Water issues impact human life and the future of our planet.
We believe that if 'small-scale water infrastructure' capable of being installed in the required quantities where needed, with the ability to recycle used water on-site were to be implemented in society, it could become one of the universal solutions to the world's water challenges.
This page introduces WOTA's ongoing projects aimed at promoting implementation of 'small-scale decentralized water recycling systems'.
Financial challenges faced by water and sewerage systems.
Since the high economic growth period, Japan has invested over 100 trillion yen into producing world-class quality water infrastructure with an impressive 98% coverage rate. However, behind the scenes, Japan is struggling with serious financial deficits, with the combined debt for water supply and sewage systems reaching 51 trillion yen. Moreover, this fiscal situation is set to worsen due to the dual challenges of accelerating ‘population decline’ and ‘rising costs for aging infrastructure renewal’. By 2040, the annual deficit is projected to exceed an alarming 4 trillion yen, surpassing the total annual revenue. To ensure a prosperous life free from water stress for future generations, the ‘establishment of sustainable finances’ for water infrastructure is an urgent challenge that we must address.
Problem-solving with small-scale decentralized water recycling systems.
Various strategies, including ‘regionalization’, ‘public-private partnerships’, and ‘fee increases’ have been explored to tackle the water supply financial deficit, but none solve the structural issue where ‘in depopulated areas, expenditure and revenue do not align, resulting in deficits’.
Thus, we focused on ‘water recycling technology’ and ‘decentralization of water infrastructure’. By utilizing ‘small-scale decentralized water recycling systems’ that recycle used water on-site, expensive construction costs (pipework etc…) can be eliminated. This significantly reduces water supply and wastewater treatment costs, improving municipal water service financial deficits. This shift can lead to a sustainable financial model for the entire water infrastructure.
Launch of the ‘Water 2040’ project
After years of technological development, WOTA launched ‘Water 2040’ in 2023 - a social impact project in collaboration with municipalities facing water challenges. This real-world study involves introducing water recycling systems to enable residents to continue with their daily lives in depopulated areas of Ehime Prefecture, where renewing aging water infrastructure is costly, and Tokyo’s remote Toshima Village, where water supply costs are high due to freshwater shortage.
Following this study, we plan to expand the initiative, with a primary focus on municipalities facing particularly severe issues. Initially, by 2023, we will target implementation in areas where ‘high water supply costs have led to water struggles in residents' lives’. By 2030, we intend to expand the project nationwide, offering an alternative solution to municipalities grappling with fiscal deficits and the complexities of renewing aging piping systems. Then, by 2040, it will become the standard water infrastructure for ‘areas with low population densities’, establishing a sustainable society where future generations can use water with confidence.