Japan leads the way in balancing their water supply

As global water supplies become more scarce, maritime countries, such as Japan, look towards maintaining a steady ratio of water supply and water use.

Geography A-Level student Elpi Koutsogiannis delves into the effective management of water in Japan and the issues water scarcity and imbalance can cause.


Whilst Japan is successful at maintaining the balance, the issue that many countries face with balancing this ratio is managing the amount of water taken by industries compared to the amount available for local communities.

In Japan, the spread rate of water supply systems is about 97%, which means that Japan has achieved a reasonable supply of safe and drinkable water. This management strategy has allowed for ‘clean and non-polluted’ water to reach the population safely.

Celebrated today in Japan, ‘Marine Day’ is a holiday that the people of Japan hold to celebrate the ocean for its great resources, on this day much of the population makes a trip to the beach and enjoys the ocean-related festivities. ‘Marine Day’ can be interpreted as a celebration by the people of its large water availability, its abundance of resources brought by the ocean, and the economic opportunities that are opened through the easy accessibility to the ocean from anywhere on the mainland.

Japan Marine Day

A key reason why Japan can provide water for both their community and local business is due to the fact of a multiple array of factors, most importantly, having multiple water sources, having fantastic infrastructure and distribution, and having great water management plans.

However, some countries have extremely poor governance (specifically those in low-income countries) leading to water scarcity being a large issue for many small towns and cities in these low-income countries, as the Governments in these countries care more for economic opportunity than the welfare of its people. the Mexican town of San Cristobal De Las Casas, the community that lives within this city has limited access to clean drinking water as TNCs, such as Coca-Cola, as the Coca-Cola bottling manufacturing plant, which is located there, use up an extremely high percentage of the town’s water leaving the locals scarce for drinking water.

Through sharing this information, I want whoever is reading this to realise a simple thing, water is extremely precious, without it we cannot live and if we cannot maintain a balance between usage, we will start to see what happened in that Mexican town, slowly start to occur at a larger scale in bigger cities.

Written by Elpi Koutsogiannis during a week of work experience at Encon Associates

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