As the U.S. member body to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) joins in the celebration of World Water Day spotlighting the importance of access to fresh water and specifically how standards and best practices can improve sanitation services and water scarcity.
This year's World Water Day theme, "Leaving no one behind," adapts the central promise of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6, which ensures access to water and sanitation for all. ISO has developed more than 1,400 standards relating to water, each representing best practice in a number of sectors including water quality, water supply, wastewater and storm water systems, and infrastructure. In particular, a new standard, ISO 20760-1, offers guidelines on how to make use of reclaimed water in order to satisfy water demands and alleviate heavy pressure on urban areas.
Maya Ishikawa, secretary of ISO Technical Committee (TC) 282, Water reuse, which developed the standard, explained: "By providing guidelines for the planning and design of centralized water reuse systems and water reuse applications in urban areas as well as methods and tools to evaluate the risk and performance of water reuse systems, ISO TC 282 standards will be the key to efficiently reuse water and help regions fight water shortages." ISO TC 282 also focuses on water reuse systems for irrigation and industrial uses. U.S. input to TC 282 is coordinated by the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the ANSI-accredited administrator of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the committee. AWWA is an ANSI member and accredited standards developer.
Another key standard addressing SDG 6 is ISO 30500 , Non-Sewered Sanitation Systems. An estimated 1.8 billion people across the globe are using a source of drinking water that is faecally contaminated, with such adverse consequences as disease, malnutrition, poverty, and child death. By offering basic requirements for the design and testing of stand-alone faecal sludge treatment units, ISO 30500 will help address the health needs of many communities worldwide. ISO 30500 was developed by ISO Project Committee (PC) 305 under U.S. leadership with Senegal and the U.S. serving in a twinned secretariat capacity.
"The development of ISO 30500 was expertly led by the chair (USA) and twinned secretaries (Senegal and USA) over numerous project committee and working group (WG) meetings over just two years, which involved hundreds of experts from numerous countries spending collectively tens of thousands of work hours," said Sun Kim, the Chair of the U.S. TAG to ISO PC 305. Two organizations also contributed to the drafting of ISO 30500: the African Water Association (AfWA) and the Toilet Board Coalition (TBC).
Together these two standards will promote economic, social, and environmental sustainability.