• How the world’s top water utilities are coping with Covid-19

Water/Wastewater

How the world’s top water utilities are coping with Covid-19

Mar 30 2020

There is no greater threat to our humanity than the pandemic of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Water utilities around the world are battling to maintain service for life-saving handwashing with clean safe water, at the same time as protecting staff against illness. 

The Global Water Leaders Group has spoken to five utilities – at different stages of the outbreak – to understand their preparedness for COVID-19 as well as their biggest challenges, lessons, and advice for the global water sector - 

Gruppo Hera: In Italy, now the world’s most affected country, total lockdown is affecting the availability of staff for essential services. This unprecedented incident will have lessons for us all, including future investment in technologies such as automation and smart systems.  

Hong Kong Department of Water Supplies: Pandemics are no surprise for Hong Kong which has previously dealt with SARS and MERS outbreaks. The utility is ever vigilant considering the population density of Hong Kong and therefore the likelihood of contagion. 

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power: California is third most infected State in the US and while it is far more accustomed to responding to earthquakes, LA’s utility already had a pandemic plan before COVID-19. Tweaking the plan has enabled LADWP to act quickly to protect its 10,000 employees and continue service to 4 million customers. 

Anglian Water: The full force of COVID-19 has not yet hit the UK, yet Anglian Water in the country’s east is prepared with its own plan that complies with the National Risk Register. The utility had ‘gamed’ remote working for all staff before it was recommended by the government and it is continuing to stay flexible, looking to learn more from the experience.   

Shanghai Chengtou: In China, the first country to be affected, Shanghai is now coming out the other side of the pandemic. Recovery efforts continue, with lessons from sewage aerosol contagion, as the city and utility try to get back to business as usual.  

The video can be viewed here.


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