The Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-water) has made strenuous efforts to supply tap water at international top-quality levels, ranging from water resources in-take to tap water, so people can trust what they drink.
The corporation aims to achieve this through innovation, such as digital transformation of the entire process of producing tap water, aggressive administration and quality improvement. In particular, K-water is leading efforts to advance national tap water networks by obtaining commissions on all tap water facilities owned by local governments.
In June 2019, K-water was chosen as an institution responsible for water use and supply under the umbrella of the Ministry of Environment as part of the government’s readjustment of water management functions.
Under the measure, K-water has been charged with operating and managing 48 tap water facilities in metropolitan areas across the nation, accounting for 48 percent of the nation’s total tap water capacity.
K-water launched a project to improve the efficiency of tap water facilities in Nonsan, Chungcheongnam-do. The corporation is now expanding the project to tap water facilities for 23 local governments.
First, K-water is trying to manage hygiene conditions at tap water facilities more stringently than that of food by preventing the spread of chironomus larvae from water in-take to water conduits.
The corporation has set aside 420.9 billion won to improve hygiene conditions of tap water facilities to prevent the spread of chironomus larvae by 2025.
Starting with the Hwaseong Water Purification Center in March 2021, K-water had all 39 tap water facilities in metropolitan cities certified with the food safety management regime ISO 22000 by last year.
The ISO 22000 is an international standard system designed to effectively manage all harmful factors that may occur in the course of the processes of producing food and manufacturing.
K-water said it endeavors to raise the reliability of tap water by ramping up communication with people.
The corporation is providing diverse information, such as water use amounts and tap water fares, that have been collected from tap water suppliers across the nation through the National Tap Water Information Center.
K-water is implementing a project to prevent tap water leakage on a continuous basis.
The government has implemented projects to improve old tap water facilities in provincial areas by investing a combined 3.1 trillion won since 2017.
Many local governments have wanted to commission such modernization projects to an institution with rich expertise and experience, so K-water has been commissioned with 71 modernization projects, accounting for 69 percent of the 103 projects.
The projects, implemented by K-water, saw the water flow rate stand an average of 77.1 percent. K-water’s all seven projects passed an evaluation of water flow rate, the final process of the modernization project - maintaining a target water flow rate of 85 percent or more for more than one year.
K-water said its modernization projects resulted in reducing tap water leakage amounts by 64 million tons, having an effect of saving 127.1 billion won in taxpayers’ money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 16,000 tons.
K-water has raised the water flow rate of a tap water facility in Shinan-gun, Jeollannam-do, from 50.3 percent to 87.6 percent, managing to cope with a drought, which hit the nation for the first time in 30 years.
K-water is ramping up capability to cope with tap water crises in cooperation with basin tap water support centers.
The corporation is operating a tap water support center at each of the four basins of the four rivers: the Han River, the Geum River, the Yeongsan River, the Seomjin River and the Nakdong River.
The steps to prevent tap water accidents are designed to offer solutions tailored to meet small- and medium-sized local governments with poor conditions and technical support.
K-water inaugurated an all-source situation room of the basin tap water support center designed to enable integrated monitoring of tap water facilities across the nation last November, a step to enable swift responses using information of on-site information in the case of tap water accidents.
A K-water official said, “K-water has raised water flow rates and prevented tap water accidents by implementing projects to modernize tap water facilities of local governments in provincial areas, suffering from financial difficulties.”