Water & Wastewater Asia Jan/Feb 2018

WATER & WASTEWATER ASIA January / February 2018 34 / INSIGHT Reclaiming water Although 80 per cent of wastewater around the world is discharged back into waterways without being treated first, regulatory compliance, water shortages, and pollution are all spurring innovative and sustainable technologies for industrial wastewater treatment. By Roselynda Afandi Nalin Amunugama, General Manager, BOGE KOMPRESSOREN, Asia Pacific. Image credit: BOGE M ore than a vital component of ecosystems and human health, safe and clean water form the core of sustainable development. Yet, the reality is that 80 per cent of wastewater is released into the environment globally without being treated or reused. Exacerbating this problem is the lack of infrastructure and resources inmost cities to address wastewater management in an efficient way. Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos are among some of the countries reporting the lowest percentages of wastewater treatment in the Southeast Asian region. When properly managed, however, wastewater can be a great source of water, energy and other useful materials. Given wastewater’s environmental and economic benefits – be it in meeting growing water demand, improving energy production or supporting sustainable industrial development – governments and corporations are stepping up efforts to enhance its collection, treatment and reuse. Singapore is heeding this call, and the nation has pledged to pump some US$200million into a water industry that is expected to add about US$2.8 billion to the country’s economy by 2020. Similar investments have also resulted in innovative technologies that are disrupting the water sector and making an impact by maximising efficiencies and optimising consumption. Membrane technologies such as reverse osmosis and microfiltration, as well as biological treatments are among advances that are currently being tested in labs and increasingly finding applications in wastewater processes. In plant facilities, technological upgrades, as well as operational modifications are helping to improve water use and recovery. “Adopting smarter approaches to water management will become the norm as urban demand and uses of water evolve,” Nalin Amunugama, general manager of BOGE Asia Pacific, a leading supplier of industrial air compressor systems, said. “Leveraging new technologies will not only help industries and cities better exploit wastewater’s potential, but will set a precedent for how this valuable resource is managed in the future.”