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Social Innovation in Southeast Asia

Hitachi Tackles Water Issues in Southeast Asia

In Southeast Asia, where industries thrive and resources abound, a severe issue comes to the fore—water scarcity and pollution- with 35% of the population relying on contaminated drinking water sources.

Building a Water-Wise World

The water challenges in Southeast Asia are severe, requiring immediate attention and proactive solutions:

  • In Vietnam, an alarmingly high proportion—exceeding 30%—of domestic wastewater is directly discharged into rivers, lakes, and canals.

  • Roughly a third of Thailand’s
    water is of poor quality.

  • Merely 7.4 percent of municipal wastewater in Indonesia undergoes treatment, while the remaining 92.6 percent is released into water bodies.

Such statistics are undeniably concerning, and they resonate deeply with Hitachi.

The Philippines' Water Challenge

Take Philippines as an example, water scarcity is a recurrent issue mainly because the Metro Manila and nearby provinces with about 15 million people heavily depends on a single dam to meet 90% of its raw water requirements. This issue is further exacerbated by a dry season lasting six to eight months each year and population growth.

  • As a result, water supply interruptions happen to preserve the minimum capacity of its dam.
  • Meanwhile, 52% of the population in the Philippines lack access to a properly managed water source, and 39% lack adequate household sanitation facilities.
  • This endangers the region’s economic growth, public health, and environmental sustainability by sparking a domino effect of repercussions—waterborne disease outbreaks, industrial turmoil, reduced agricultural productivity, the harm inflicted upon biodiversity and aquatic life—an ecological upheaval.

Hitachi is Empowering Water Sustainability

Social Innovation is the key to fulfilling the world's water needs. With cutting-edge technologies, extensive expertise, and a commitment to social and environmental responsibility, Hitachi helps establish optimal water infrastructures, ensuring safe and reliable water supplies and enabling efficient water management and treatment cycles.

  • Water Treatment and Desalination system converts brackish water and seawater into high-quality potable water, addressing scarcity.

  • Hitachi’s integrated Digital Solutions to create a digital eco system that will accelerate digitalisation and provide a real-time comprehensive plant operation monitoring, including employing sensors and data analytics to detect water pollutants, source identification, and targeted control measures as a form of predictive and preventive water energy management.

  • Promoting rainwater harvesting for irrigation and sanitation, Hitachi also leads groundwater recharge projects that restore and replenish depleted aquifers through innovative techniques.

  • Through thought leadership and social responsibility programs focusing on global issues such as water solutions and human health, Hitachi empowers communities and young leaders to actively engage in creating more sustainable and better societies.

Flowing Towards Change: Hitachi's Water Initiatives in the Philippines

With water scarcity as a recurrent issue, it is no wonder that Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (Maynilad) has considered recycling used water for potable applications. The company started this by catching the treated effluent of its sewage treatment plant in Parañaque City and converting it to potable water supply. With the success of that initial foray into potable water reuse, Maynilad is now doing the same for the treated effluent of its Pasay Water Reclamation Facility in partnership with Hitachi, which proposed a New Water concept built upon tried and tested technology already implemented in South Africa and Japan.

The potable water from Pasay New Water Plant will be supplied to Pasay City as an additional water source. Recycling treated wastewater will relieve the burden on the supply of fresh water and groundwater. Hitachi employs a multi-barrier system incorporating ultrafiltration, advanced membrane technologies (Reverse Osmosis), and UV disinfection to guarantee the production of high-grade recycled water from treated wastewater.

By late-2024, Hitachi aims to deliver 12 million litres per day, contributing to a safe drinking water supply that will benefit the people in Pasay City. This New Water project aligns closely with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 6) and the Philippine government's initiatives to integrate and harmonise regulatory activities, assuring water resource availability and sustainable management.

In collaboration with Maynilad, Hitachi strives to combat the impact of water supply shortages by tapping alternate sources, promoting water sustainability and transitioning to a circular economy through potable water reuse.

Hitachi is determined to resolve these challenges through Social Innovation and is actively expanding its collaborations with governments and local partners to address water issues not just in the Philippines but across Southeast Asia. Hitachi is on a mission to augment responsible and sustainable water management, ensuring accessible clean water for everyone and enhancing the quality of life.

Date of Release: November 2023