The International Conference on water Processing for Sustainable devolopment held at NIT(SCEE) from 8/1/2017 to 8/2/2017.The 2017 World Water Development Report “Wastewater – the untapped resource” notes that wastewater remains an undervalued resource, all too often seen as a burden to be disposed of or a nuisance to be ignored – and calls for this perception to change. In support of the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) 6.3 on improving water quality and reducing, treating and reusing wastewater, the theme of the World Water Day 2017 was Why waste water?
In the face of ever-growing demand, wastewater is gaining momentum as a reliable alternative source of water, shifting the paradigm of wastewater management from ‘treatment and disposal’ to ‘reuse, recycle and resource recovery’. In this sense, wastewater should no longer seen as a problem in need of a solution, rather it is part of the solution to challenges that societies are facing today.
Wastewater can also be a cost-efficient and sustainable source of energy, nutrients and other useful by-products. The potential benefits of extracting such resources from wastewater go well beyond human and environmental health, with implications on food and energy security as well as climate change mitigation. In the context of a circular economy, whereby economic development is balanced with the protection of natural resources and environmental sustainability, wastewater represents a widely available and valuable resource.
In practice, the use of wastewater for a variety of purposes is gaining increased popularity as a means of preserving scarce freshwater resources. Wastewater and grey water use is increasingly considered a method of combining water and nutrient recycling, increased household food security and improved nutrition for poor households. Economic and environmental pressures, along with a stronger conservation ethic, have led to widespread and growing applications for recycling of wastewater, including irrigation of food and non-food crops, green spaces, recovering arid land, fire systems, industrial cooling or industrial processing, sanitation and even as indirect and possibly direct sources of drinking-water. The beneficial use of wastewater helps to: i) decrease the impact on the environment of disposal of sewage or industrial effluent; ii) maximize the use of limited water resources; and iii) can contribute to national development.