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Hitachi is responding to both water-related risks and opportunities with our customers and society through our business operations by establishing a long-term environmental target of building a water- and resource-efficient society by 2050.
We are subject to regulations stipulated by different countries and regions concerning water use, such as a tightening of quality standards for both water supply and drainage and a jump in prices. These regulations pose a risk for our business activities, but they can also be an opportunity for our water-related business.
Hitachi places the water-related business as a core undertaking, having established the Water Business Unit to provide machinery, electrical facilities, and services for water infrastructure. To date, we have installed approximately 700 water purification plants and 900 sewage treatment plants in Japan, as well as over 200 plants in some 40 countries and regions around the world. By providing a range of water-treatment technologies, from water generation to sewage, we seek to realize efficient water circulation for our customers and to lessen the impact of water-related regulations.
At approximately 200 Hitachi business sites around the world, we are promoting appropriate water usage for each locale by investigating and analyzing water risks and usage status to be prepared for any regulatory risks that may arise in the future.
Just as there are countries and regions around the world that are endowed with rich water resources, there are also many places where people do not have enough water for their everyday lives and for agriculture. For Hitachi, such shortages represent both a risk and an opportunity.
For example, we provide the long-distance water pumps at the core of water distribution facilities in large-scale projects to provide water to areas with a shortage. In Egypt, we built pumping facilities to send water from the Nile River to desert areas for the country's greening project, and in China we are drawing water from the Yangtze River to the Yellow River, which suffers from a serious water shortage. Meanwhile, our desalination system provides water for Male, the capital of the Maldives—an island country without rivers that depends on rain or groundwater for its drinking water. Through our participation in these large-scale, global projects, we will continue to help find solutions for water-related problems around the world.
We are also focusing on physical water risks at our own plants. A water shortage is usually regarded as the main physical risk for ordinary plants. However, since Hitachi's business sites are concentrated in areas near rivers or with a rich source of underground water, we consider this physical risk to be minimal. Even so, we have taken appropriate and necessary measures to secure dedicated waterways in case there are water-access concerns. We also deem flood damage as a physical risk. At times of new plant constructions, therefore, we keep the potential damage in mind when choosing sites. When we judge countermeasures to be required, we install bulkhead partitions or place essential amenities on the second floor—including at existing plants. We check upstream water levels every month and set up flood task forces when levels reach a dangerous level, sharing such information with our suppliers. We also diversify risks by procuring components from multiple suppliers.
We will continue to promote necessary measures to minimize water-related physical risks.