Environment & Infrastructure - Business Overview
Sewage treatment facilities in Mexico
In Japan, water has long been taken for granted: as the saying goes, “Water and safety are virtually free.” Considering the widespread consumption of bottled water in the country today, it is difficult to continue to think of water as being free. Still, people in Japan have an unquestioning faith that if you turn on the tap, water will flow out of it. If we look at water usage around the world, however, it becomes readily apparent that the situation in Japan is far from the norm.
The majority of the Earth's water resources consist of seawater, with fresh water representing only 3 percent. When it comes to water that is usable by humans, the figure plummets to 0.01 percent. What's more, there are no alternatives to existing water resources. These resources are unevenly distributed around the world and appropriate infrastructure is required in order to access them. Such background factors are the reason for water shortages in some regions of the world, particularly the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia.
As a result of increasing populations and accelerating urbanization and industrialization, water demands have been growing continuously while the capacity of the environment to supply safe and sanitary water has been deteriorating. Given this, water security is expected to become an even more serious issue in the coming years. Reflecting this recognition, the water sector's attempts to find solutions to water shortages have been drawing global attention since the early 2000s. This heightened attention is of course reflecting growing awareness among industrialized nations that it is their responsibility to help developing countries achieve a safe and hygienic living environment.
Sumitomo Corporation aims to become part of the solution. We have been endeavoring to solve water issues in regions in which demand for water is soaring.
Water treatment facilities in Izmit, Turkey
Sumitomo Corporation is currently providing water treatment services to approximately 2.5 million people in Turkey, Mexico, China and other countries. We aspire to increase our service customer base to more than 20 million people and become one of the 10 largest water management companies in the world within the next several years. To this end, we acquired all shares of Sutton & East Surrey Water plc, a water only supply and distribution company in England, with the aim of fully participating in a concession business for public water and sewerage services, a business expected to grow significantly in the years to come. In order to contribute to solving water-related issues, the water sector, ourselves included, needs to focus its efforts not only on developing the water supply systems indispensable to our daily lives, but also on sewer systems, an area which generally lags behind relatively well-developed water supply systems. Unlike the good old days, when people were able to discharge raw wastewater into streams and the ocean in anticipation of natural purification processes, we can no longer do this as the amount of wastewater generated by significantly larger populations is more than the natural environment can accommodate. Discharging untreated wastewater has become a major contributor to environmental pollution.
Water treatment facilities of SESW in England
Sumitomo Corporation entered the wastewater treatment market in 2004, when we launched a joint project in Mexico with Degrémont S.A., a major France-based water service company. Leveraging the combination of Degrémont's extensive experience and expertise in water facilities operations and Sumitomo's strengths in coordinating finance and other overall project elements along with its international network, the project to recycle wastewater for agricultural and industrial use has been helping improve the local living environment and develop local communities.
Next>>> Toward a better water environment in the world's two most populous nations / Developing water recycling systems by tapping the public sector's experience and expertise / Opening up new possibilities within the water sector by way of public and private partnerships
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