JIN-356 -- Water, Water Everywhere, and Every Drop to Drink

T H E J @ P A N I N C N E W S L E T T E R
Commentary on the Week's Business, Technology and Cultural News

Issue No. 356
Wednesday February 15, 2006 TOKYO

+++ VIEWPOINT: Water, Water Everywhere, and Every Drop to Drink

Yen Mortgages for Women

The Yen mortgage seminar is back with a twist
offering a Japanese-speaking lifestyle seminar
by Resona Bank to Japanese women or foreign
female PR holders.

Date: Tuesday, Feb 28, 2006
Time: 6:30pm (Doors open at 5:30pm)
Venue: The FCC, Yurakucho Denki Bldg., 20F
Cost: FREE! (RSVP required by Feb 24)
For complete details(Japanese only), please go to:

Editor's note: This week's JIN is by J@pan Inc staff writer
Willhemina Wahlin.

+++ VIEWPOINT: Water, Water Everywhere, and Every Drop to Drink

The 17th January this year marked the 11th year since the Great
Hanshin Earthquake devastated Kobe.

In the midst of such a disaster freshwater is crucial.
Burst water mains, spewing out onto the streets, become floods
awaiting waterborne disease. A logistical nightmare unravels,
as those in the wake of the disaster wait for supplies of fresh
drinking water. Doctors treating the injured rely on clean water,
but often that depends on whether the water system has made it
through unscathed. Usually it hasn't.

Just after the earthquake struck, Mr. Keizo Murakami, the Chief
Technical Engineer of Global Trust, a Tokyo-based venture
business, heard of Kobe's need for freshwater. Murakami had
been leading the development of a new type of water treatment
facility, and, luckily for Kobe, his team had just completed
the construction of the first model of their machine, called
"New Oasis."

Vice President of Global Trust, Kyo Kunishio, told Japan Inc.
how Murakami set off with his team and approached the Kobe Port
Island Hospital. "The doctors had water from the water works,
but it was not clean enough," Kunishio said. "After testing
the water quality from Mr. Murakami's machine, they decided to
use it immediately. They treated 308 patients who needed
artificial kidney dialysis with the water from New Oasis, and
all are still alive today."

The machine is an OH System water desalinator and purifier that
takes ozone (O3) from the atmosphere, creating unique-sized
clusters of water molecules that can be passed through the
reverse osmosis process without stripping the water of its
mineral content. It uses no chemicals and creates no toxic

"Currently, when sea or river water is converted to drinking
water, it is usually done through a process of disinfection
and sterilization using chemicals such as chlorine," said
Kunishio. "This often leaves behind poisonous substances,
such as Trihalomethane, a carcinogen often found in drinking

Many new desalination plants also use the reverse osmosis
process, which is essentially pushing the water molecules
through a membrane, separating the salt from the water. One
such plant is the new Ashkelon desalination plant in Israel,
which began operations in August 2005. Ashkelon is said to
be the biggest plant of its kind in the world, and, according
to "Water Technology," will ultimately provide an annual
100 million cubic meters of water, roughly 5 percent to 6
percent of Israel's total water needs or around 15 percent
of the country's domestic consumer demand.

The thing that makes the New Oasis system different is that by
using ozone, the size of water molecule clusters changes,
allowing clusters to go through the membrane and still
maintain their oxygen and mineral content. Ashkelon, on the
other hand, uses lime to replace the mineral content of the

The quality of the water itself makes it perfect for the
fishing industry. Because of the oxygen content in the water,
it is possible to keep both fresh- and saltwater fish in the
same tanks with OH System water. Usually, saltwater fish die
if they are kept in freshwater tanks, so using New Oasis
water would be of great benefit to fish farms. What’s more,
water in such farms could be constantly recycled without any
industrial waste, reducing the impact of such water-intensive
industries on other water systems, such as local rivers or
town supplies. Salt from the system is also completely safe
and can be used to dry fish, which is markedly different
form other systems that pump brine back into the ocean.

Hospitals could install their own units, as could industrial
complexes, such as hotels, using the water for irrigation,
for instance. Pools and spas could be filled with water
filtered with the New Oasis system, ridding them of the
need for chlorine and essentially turning them into
thalassotherapy pools.

Interestingly, there seems to be an awful lot of money to
be made from such a venture in the mineral water market.
"Presently, the amount of mineral water consumed is around
125 billion litres per year," explained Kunishio. "The
Nestle and Danone Groups account for approximately 65
percent of the global market share of mineral water.
However, both of these groups have reached their limit
of mineral water production."

Kunishio believes that the increased consumption of mineral
water in China alone is heralding a new age of mineral
water consumption, and New Oasis water is the forerunning
contender in filling the gap. He brought out figures that
showed far higher levels of minerals and oxygen in New
Oasis system water than leading brands.

The issue of desalination is hotly debated around
the world at present, but one fact is not: water is a
precious resource, and we need to manage it better. The
idea of industry, agriculture and selected communities
being able to recycle their own water supplies should not
be dismissed. Dry, arid countries, so short on water and
so rich in sun, could use solar energy to fuel New Oasis
systems for industry and agriculture, leaving the main
water supply for larger communities that would not be
viable contenders for desalination plants. If renewable
energy projects joined up with New Oasis, we could have
something truly remarkable on our hands.

-- Willhemina Wahlin

ICA Event - Feb 16

Speaker: Yosuke I. Itoh III, Director, CSP and Media Industry Services,
Abeam Consulting LLP.
Title: Japan's Mobile Commerce Boom! A Driver for Marketing
Loyalty Program Consolidation

RSVP Complete event details at http://www.icajapan.jp/
Date: Thursday, February 16, 2005
Time: 6:30 Doors open, buffet dinner included
Cost: 3,000 yen (members), 5,500 yen (non-members),
Open to all - Location is Foreign Correspondents'
Club http://www.fccj.or.jp/static/aboutus/map.php

SUBSCRIBERS: 31,122 as of February 14, 2006

Written and edited by Burritt Sabin (editors2@japaninc.com)

(C) Copyright 2006 Japan Inc Communications KK. All Rights Reserved.