Water & Wastewater Asia May/Jun 2018

WATER & WASTEWATER ASIA May / June 2018 14 / MARKET REPORT The Reuse Opportunity The report is reproduced with permission from the International Water Association, in partnership with OFID (OPEC Fund for International Development) The report is reproduce with permission form t I ternational Water Association, in partnership with OFID (OPEC Fund for International Development). All graphic images are credited to IWA and OFID. T he theme for UN-Water World Water Day in 2017 waswastewater which has helped to raise awareness of this global problem and create momentum amongst like-minded organisations to drive change. The change required is captured within target 6.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which commits governments to halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse by 2030. Today, around 80 per cent of all wastewater is discharged into the world’s waterways where it creates health, environmental and climate-related hazards. Urbanisation further exacerbates this challenge with increasing wastewater generation, while at the same time using more of Earth’s dwindling resources. Recovering the water, energy, nutrients and other precious materials embedded in wastewater is a key opportunity to be seized. The discharge of untreated effluent in water bodies not only leads to eutrophication and human health risks, it also contributes significantly to Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in the form of nitrous oxide and methane. Emissions from untreated sewage represents three times the emissions o f conven t i ona l was t ewa t e r treatment. The emissions from untreated sewage can represent a significant percentage of cities’ global emissions, even when treatment coverage is still poor as in many emerging cities. The SDGs demand we halve the amount of untreated wastewater and provide universal access to adequate sanitation. During the same period, the global population is estimated to rise to 8.5 billion people. These pressures will drive cities to address the wastewater challenge and seize the reuse oppo r t un i t y. Of pa r amoun t importance are the dual objectives of safeguarding human health and environmental protection, but beyond this, cities need to identify ways of deriving value from the materials, energy and water that is embedded in wastewater streams. Decisive, urgent and large- scale action is needed to increase wastewater and faecal sludge treatment, reuse and recycling. Cities should be empowered to take the lead on a resource revolution, w i t h gov e r nmen t s and t he private sector investing heavily in infrastructure to enable a transition to a circular economy, bringing about significant environmental, economic and social benefits. A portfolio of solutions including centralised and decentralised, natural and built, wet and dry options. Photo credit: Ragnar Vorel