On 22 March 2021, UNU hosted “My Water, Our Water”, a virtual conversation with Mr Robin Lewis, co-founder of mymizu, and Prof. Taikan Oki, Senior Vice-Rector of the United Nations University.
The COVID-19 pandemic has re-emphasized the vital importance of clean water and sanitation for disease prevention, while also exposing the dire situation in many developing countries where access to clean water and sanitation is limited. At the same time, the crisis has spotlighted global demand for various single-use plastics — from face shields and gloves to takeaway food containers, cups, and bottles.
In 2019, Mr Lewis co-founded mymizu, Japan’s first water refill app, as an initiative to reduce consumption of single-use plastics. With nearly 200,000 water refill spots around the world, the app includes cafes and restaurants, public spaces like airports and train stations, as well as spring water sources in areas like Nagano and Hokkaido, Japan.
To commemorate World Water Day, Robin Lewis and Taikan Oki, one of Japan’s leading hydrologists, discussed what water means to them, current trends in global water issues, and promising initiatives to help overcome water-related challenges.