Nigeria is one of Africa’s most water-rich countries, home to over 215 cubic kilometres a year of available surface water. Yet, the country suffers from economic water scarcity, leaving many people without regular access to potable water. Poor management of the resource and ageing water infrastructure leads to such under-usage of what should be a readily available commodity. The situation impacts not only Nigeria’s people but restrains its industrial and socio-economic development as well.
In water-scarce parts of the world, water reuse has become a linchpin to better manage and deliver potable water. For example, the US state of California enacted Title 22, which facilitates unrestricted water reuse standards. This law stipulates numerous conditions under which water can be reused, including irrigation, air conditioning and laundry.
If implemented correctly, water sanitation can be an enormous benefit for overall water availability. The question is, how can public utilities achieve such benefits without spending too much?
Modern UV and ozone sanitation systems
The answer lies in modern UV and ozone sanitation systems. UV and ozone are terrifically good at removing contaminants from water without overly relying on chemicals such as chlorine. Yet, chemical treatment often still seems more affordable. This logic, though, suffers when you factor in reliability, sustainability and safety. And while chemicals such as chlorine still belong in water management cycles, their impact on water reuse and the environment can be tempered by introducing UV and ozone purification systems.
At face value, such new systems might seem more expensive, but not if one considers the total cost of ownership. When the City of Stockholm in Sweden looked to revamp its water systems for better reuse and sustainability, it weighed its choices based on the total life cycle costs (LCC) for 20 years. One brand, Xylem’s Wedeco systems, won the tender.
Wedeco’s sanitation systems lower costs through several avenues. The equipment’s acquisition, installation, and running costs are highly competitive. Since Wedeco systems are often self-contained, they require minimal maintenance and oversight. Further to that, Xylem’s local partner network provides reliable design and service choices for the client. Today, over a million people in Stockholm can access clean recycled water.
Nigeria is flush with water, and many of its states are named after local rivers. Water is intrinsic to Nigeria’s way of life. But even with such abundance, it’s tough to deliver clean water, encouraging better health and more economic growth.
Yet, it’s not necessary to replace entire water management sites. By applying the right strategic changes, even incumbent sites can reuse water and expand access to surrounding communities. Such strategic investments in water sanitation can significantly increase the number of Nigerians who enjoy reliable access to clean water.
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