Japanese residents are recycling water to meet a growing water demand, but the country’s government has only been taking up the option for a couple of years.
The new policy has come as a surprise to many residents, especially those who have long used the water as a drink.
The new plan comes after the government introduced an ambitious plan to collect up to 50 million tons of water a year by 2020.
The country’s environment ministry said it will take the first steps toward the goal in a report released Wednesday, as it continues to study the potential of water recycling for the country.
“I’m very pleased that we’ve found the right solutions to the problem of water consumption, because water is the lifeblood of the country,” environment minister Toshimitsu Saito told reporters in Tokyo.
The ministry said the country needs to develop water recycling programs that are flexible and adaptable to local conditions.
It also urged people to think about recycling the water, since water is used in cooking and in a lot of other household activities.
“We are aware that water is not a good investment,” Saito said.
“The water is a resource that needs to be conserved.
So it is necessary to consider ways to conserve water in a way that is sustainable.”
A report from the environmental agency showed that water recycling has become a significant part of the government’s water management strategy.
It said water reuse accounts for 14.4 percent of Japan’s total water consumption and that the country will need more than 30 trillion yen ($2.7 billion) by 2030 to meet its water consumption target.
Water recycling is not new in Japan.
In 2003, a study found that one third of Japanese households used water from rivers and lakes for drinking and bathing.