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The Korea Herald
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THE INVESTOR
July 21, 2024

Economy

K-water to cooperate with African nations on water infrastructure

  • PUBLISHED :June 07, 2024 - 17:34
  • UPDATED :June 07, 2024 - 17:34
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A K-water employee briefs on the company's artificial intelligence-powered water purification plant in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, to Mauritius President Prithvirajsing Roopun (second from left), Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadera (third from left) and K-water CEO Yun Seog-dae. (K-Water)

Korea Water Resources Corp. said Thursday that the state-run agency and African leaders held talks to increase their cooperation on water management technology.

Several leaders of African countries, who were visiting South Korea for the inaugural Korea-Africa Summit in Seoul, gathered at K-water’s artificial intelligence-powered water treatment facility in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, Wednesday, according to the water agency.

Attendees included Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadera, Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina and Mauritius President Prithvirajsing Roopun.

“There were occasions where officials from local governments and companies visited the facility, but it was the first time for us to host heads of state,” an official from K-water said.

Having begun its operation in 2017, K-water's Hwaseong plant is a multiregional water treatment facility that provides water to households and companies located in Hwaseong and the neighboring city of Pyeongtaek.

In 2022, K-water applied AI technology in the water management facility in Hwaseong as a pilot project, making it the country's first multiregional water treatment facility with a digital solution. Using its big data, its AI-powered system can minimize human errors and optimize power usage for efficiency, the company explained. The company plans to increase AI applications in other water treatment facilities across the country.

K-water said its AI-powered water management solution could also help African countries solve their issues involving water scarcity and quality control.

“Leaders of the three countries have all shown great interest in the AI-powered water purification system, as well as the company’s overall water management capacity,” the K-water official said.

Madagascar President Rajoelina, in particular, has tapped K-water for future cooperation to build water purification facilities, dams, seawater desalination facilities and water conduits in Madagascar, the company said. K-water will establish a joint committee to discuss details of future projects, it added.

“K-water hopes that the latest visit of leaders of African nations to the AI-powered water purification plant (in Hwaseong) can open new opportunities to export the plant and enter the global market for water infrastructure,” said K-water CEO Yun Seog-dae.

“Cooperation with African countries in the water infrastructure sector will become another achievement of the Korea-Africa Summit.”

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)

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