ISOfocus highlights water and sanitation for UN Decade of Action

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By Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis
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Water connects every aspect of life. Today, one in ten people lack access to safe water and about 2.3 billion people live without adequate sanitation, with disastrous social and economic consequences. Yet access to water and sanitation can turn problems into potential, unlocking education, work opportunities and improved health for all.

ISO has just released its January/February 2018 issue of ISOfocus. Coinciding with the start of the United Nations International Decade for Action – “Water for Sustainable Development” (2018-2028), it aims to raise awareness of the critical state of water resources around the world and inspire more action to tackle it.

This ISOfocus issue provides updates on developments in the water sector and is a vital source of up-to-date information about the water and wastewater industry. With its focus on driving performance in urban water services for rapidly growing cities, it undoubtedly speaks to the most pressing issue of our time.

ISO President John Walter writes in his introductory remark: “As I embark on my new role as ISO President, I know that International Standards are an integral part of achieving every one of the Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 6 ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, which we address directly in this issue of ISOfocus.”

The January/February 2018 issue shares the stories of the sector’s thought-leading and top-achieving researchers, activists and standards experts. It also looks at the latest and most innovative standards for water quality and its management worldwide. What we unpack in this issue is the contribution of ISO standards to solving many of today’s water-related challenges, including access to decent sanitation services, from toilets and sewage systems to solid waste management, that safely dispose of human waste.

This edition of ISOfocus also features an exclusive interview with the Deputy Director on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at the Gates Foundation. Taking stock of the world’s sanitation crisis, Doulaye Koné comments: “We take our flush toilets for granted, yet according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 800 000 people, many of them young children, die every year because of inadequate sanitation. This is tragic on its own, but the consequences are far-reaching.”

Doulaye, who is also the Chair of project committee ISO/PC 305, gives his views on the importance of ISO standards in the global marketplace and the benefits of the future ISO 30500 for non-sewered sanitation systems.

“The solutions available today are expensive, so we need economies of scale to bring down the costs. That’s also where International Standards can help by setting specifications for products that meet the needs of a large population.”

Find out how ISO standards can help solve the global water and sanitation crisis, and ensure better health for billions of people worldwide, by reading the latest ISOfocus.

Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis
Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis

+41 22 749 03 25
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Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis
Editor-in-Chief of ISOfocus

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