Natural resources are depleting at an alarming rate and with populations on the rise, creating a more sustainable future could not be more pressing. In today’s society, sustainable development focuses on economic activities that do not cause harm to the environment. To ensure sustainability is promoted on a global scale, intergovernmental groups like the United Nations have been developing strategic sustainability plans to support those in need, help with economic growth and tackle environmental issues, including climate change.
Sustainable Development Goals
The United Nations have created 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help to create a better and more sustainable future for everyone.
SDG6 focuses on Clean water and Sanitation. Water scarcity affects over 40% of the global population and over the coming years, this number is expected to rise. Shockingly, more than 80% of wastewater created by human activities is discharged into rivers or seas without appropriate pollution removal.
Statistics provided by the United Nations show that over 1.8 billion people around the world are drinking water that is contaminated.
One of the most important aims of the SDGs is to improve water quality. This includes the prevention of hazardous chemicals and materials from entering and polluting water sources.
Managing the world’s water in a more sustainable manner would help to limit various issues including the amount of deaths caused by poor water sanitation, help to tackle the spread and accumulation of contaminants within the environment and bridge the gap between water supply and demand.
How can the sustainability goals be implemented?
Environmental, social and economic drivers are leading the way for businesses to adapt to a circular approach. A circular economy looks to remove waste and pollution, reuse existing materials and regenerate natural systems which all contribute to the products lifespan and helping to create further value.
In an article published by The Guardian – ‘Five ways water can join the circular economy revolution’, water is described as being an important shared resource. However, wastewater is the largest untapped waste category. Reclamation and reuse is one of the ways that wastewater can fit into the circular economy by enabling businesses to make further use of their wastewater within other areas of the business, including for cleaning or irrigation. Statistics show that if we continue to use water at the current rate, by 2030 the water demand is going to surpass supply by 60%.
How can we help your business to become more sustainable?
Arvia Technology have developed unique tertiary treatment systems that effectively remove organic contaminants and colour from wastewater to suit individual requirements for drinking purposes or for industrial discharge/reuse. Arvia’s Nyex™-a technology helped one client with water reuse by removing COD and colour from tea wash wastewater that was being discharged into an area of natural beauty. The client was looking to save utilities costs and reduce their environmental impact. Arvia supported this by providing full colour removal and a reduction in COD from 510 mg/L to 31mg/L, making the treated wastewater suitable to reuse for further washing purposes, dramatically reducing their intake of fresh mains water.
With the gap between supply and demand increasing each year, the need to adapt to a more sustainable environment could not be more prevalent. However, this change cannot be the sole responsibility of businesses alone. A holistic approach from governments, regulators, universities and the public are required to ensure that everybody is educated on the impact we are all having on our water sources so that we can make informed decisions and tackle pollution together more effectively.
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