Research

Water Treatment

Water Treatment Process Adapted to Change

Environmental and societal conditions change all the time, creating impacts water service cannot avoid its consequences of. It is vital to understand and take necessary measures to mitigate those impacts. With the participation from 38 organizations including universities, water utilities and private companies, JWRC has started a new collaborative program called "A-Batons". A-Batons aims to help adapt water treatment systems to various changes, having two specific objectives. One is to clarify impacts of water sources quality degradation that is affecting treatment process in wide areas and to find mitigation measures. The other is to identify technical know-how and experiences to be shared and inherited more widely among water utility staff members and to propose a set of tools that can assist skills enhancement of younger personnel.
A-Batons is a three-year program that started in 2015.

Ultraviolet Disinfection for Various Water Sources

To prevent cryptosporidium, Japanese government requests that water treatment facilities keep turbidity levels less than 0.1 degrees at the end of filtration process, but this control has proved difficult especially for smaller water supplies.
JWRC is now conducting a feasibility study of applying UV disinfection to surface water sources, hoping it would allow for easier turbidity control, in turn reducing the risks of pathogenic microorganisms.
For this purpose, we are proposing specifications as well as operation and maintenance requirements of UV facilities for a variety of surface water qualities.

Pipe Engineering

Water Distribution Network to Address Uncertainty

Shrinking population in Japan and the associated attempt for amalgamation of small water supplies are two of the phenomena whose long-term impact to water service is still uncertain. To better prepare for these uncertainties, however, water utilities are now required to replace, downsize and even redesign distribution network for more efficient operation and energy use.
JWRC has been coordinating a program called "Rainbows" since 2014 in order to propose an effective method of redesigning existing water distribution network. Consisted of 18 water utilities, 19 private companies and 6 academics, the researchers have been working on various issues, including a systematic method of redesigning pipelines, putting together telling examples of efficient network renewal, how to downsize for demand reduction adjustment, and smart meter testing to examine their effectiveness.
JWRC will issue the final report in 2017.

Smart Water Metering

JWRC is studying benefits of smart metering and challenges for its wider adoption in Japan with a group of progressive water utilities that are engaged in intelligent metering or planning to do so.
Smart Water Metering in Japan 2016

Service Management

Rethinking Small Water Supply

Management of smaller supplies is becoming harder, faced with multiple difficulties including the influence of topographic conditions, dispersed properties within the service area, and utility revenue reduction because of population decline.
Their sustainable management would require a thorough review of current operational and management status and to heighten its efficiency in terms of individual facilities as well as a network of system.
JWRC is working with a model water utility to propose cost-effective water supply methods better suited to smaller supplies.

PI-based* Analysis Tools               * "PI" means Performance Indicators

With aging infrastructure, utility revenue reduction from population decline and chronic shortage of young staff members, water utilities, particularly those of smaller size, are required to increase their operational and management efficiency.
JWRC supports smaller water utilities through provision of PI-based analysis tools and by offering proposals for improvement based on the analysis of their service.
Analysis of Performance Indicators(PI)

International Comparison of Water Service

Information about how certain water utilities are operated can be a good reference for others.
JWRC is studying service management of economically developed countries to offer useful information to domestic utilities.
In this study, we are also aiming to make Japanese water service known to more people outside of Japan, trying to be a point of reference for foreign policymakers and operators interested in Japanese water service.

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