Global Trends in 2022 for Water & Wastewater Treatment Sustainability
The COVID-19 pandemic has reinvigorated the critical value of resilient, sustainable and reliable water and wastewater infrastructure. Municipalities and industries alike across the US and around the world have put greater focus upon efforts to adopt sustainable water treatment and wastewater reuse initiatives. We asked our team as well as relevant industry and municipal stakeholders to provide input on the trends for water & wastewater treatment sustainability in 2022.
Below, are the five water & wastewater treatment sustainability trends that were seen in these responses.
Treatment of Emerging Pollutants (Municipal/Industrial)
The EU and North America (NA) are set to invest in treating emerging pollutants in potable water sources, while wastewater reuse initiatives will be of primary focus in APAC, NA, LATAM, as well as the Middle East regions. Municipal wastewater reuse initiatives for groundwater recharge efforts will be one of the steps of turning scarcity into abundance in these regions.
ZLD technologies are resurrecting due disruptive solutions that can now take advantage of brine streams for recovery of minerals and salts.
Ongoing Integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and IoT based treatment system monitoring solutions
Internet of Things (IoT) solutions have become a vital spoke in assisting end users to achieve greater efficiencies. Utilities and industries have significantly enhanced their investments in utilizing smart sensors for real-time monitoring of assets. In addition, advanced AI-based data analytics platforms are becoming more capable to optimize treatment systems in real time.
Continued shift toward Decentralized Modular Treatment Technologies and Process Optimization
A particular trending focus has been on decentralized modular wastewater treatment technologies that enable water reuse onsite, in a circular loop to enhance wastewater sustainability.
Analyzing the response data, it seems there was three primary points driving this transition.
– Rising water costs
– To reduce the strain on aging centralized infrastructures
– Reducing capital, operating & power costs while enabling greater treatment efficiency
For these reasons the acceptance of onsite water reuse strategies is becoming more and more advantageous for commercial, industrial organizations as well as small and midsize communities. This trend is anticipated to continue to grow as industries expand and communities increase population size.
Evaluating Water Risk as part of an organizations Risk Management Practices
Organizations across the world cannot operate without water.
Water is as much a business concern as a sustainability risk. As the impact of water crises is felt in regions across the globe, water considerations and strategies need to be integrated into an organization’s risk management and mitigation process across its operations as well as its supply chain.
With pressure from stakeholders and investors growing and risks becoming more apparent, it was noted that the trend is to see more organizations include water into their risk management processes. Risk mitigation strategies and goals in the areas of water conservation, water reuse, desalination as well as other niche techniques will be evaluated and implemented.
Continued emergence of water-intensive, large scale data center operations.
The sheer size and quantity of these large data centers will demand greater volumes of process water for equipment cooling.
This cooling water will require proper disinfection and treatment to generate greater reuse efficiencies for these facilities.