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The cost of poor sanitation

Access to clean drinking water and a decent sewage disposal system are things that many of us take for granted, but the lack of decent sanitation in parts of the developing world is still having severe effects.

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drinking water source
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Where does our drinking water come from?

In Belgium, every water that flows through our pipes and from our tap is also potable water. Even the water with which you flush the toilet can be drunk. That water is derived from groundwater or surface water, but undergoes a whole process before it flows drinkably through our pipes. The collective name of the water from which drinking water is extracted is called ‘raw water’. Not all the water consumed in Flanders comes from our own water extraction. The Netherlands, France and Wallonia are among the suppliers for a share of the water production for Flanders.

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night city
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Cities facing day zero.

Day zero. It sounds like the title of an apocalyptic horror movie. Yet these two words have a real world meaning referring to the water crisis currently threatening a number of the world’s cities. This year, Cape Town prepared itself for a “day zero” – a dreaded day when water reserves become so low that central water supplies are turned off and the resource of water becomes rationed. This has now been put back to 2019.

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Preparing for Tomorrow… Incorporating water efficiency in buildings.

With several advantages, few negatives and low costs, it’s perhaps surprising that water efficiency hasn’t garnered the same attention as energy efficiency in the green building drive. But this presents an opportunity for forward-thinking planners and developers to gain an edge and take the lead where water-related technologies and solutions are concerned, rather than waiting for the policy-makers to catch up.

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leaky pipes
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Leaky pipes in central water supplies.

Upgrade and maintenance costs are expensive. For some countries, replacing archaic pipes could take decades. For others, it may never happen. To properly address the situation, we may need more innovative solutions. It could be time to revolutionize the way we think about how water is distributed and managed.

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legionella
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Legionella, how to control and prevent.

This can be prevented by a good layout of the water circuit. But more than often this was not sufficiently taken into account in the building process. So a good Legionella Management plan is necessary to safeguard your buildings.

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decentralized drinking water
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Towards a decentralized approach in developing countries.

With factors such as population growth and climate change expected to exacerbate current problems with global water shortages over the coming decades, we may well see more developing countries exploring decentralized approaches to find ways of improving access to water among their populations.

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