World Water Day takes place annually on March 22. Surrounding the day dedicated to resource consumption awareness, a campaign driven against water waste is at the forefront. Aimed at educating the population on the detrimental effects of water overconsumption and waste, the proposal for treating and reusing wastewater as a reduction method is gaining increasing attention.
As industry officials continue to set sustainable development goals, innovation continues to make progress, putting the water industry on track to improve the quality of water by reducing the improper disposal of hazardous waste and pollutant byproducts by treatment facilities, as well as preventing dumping waste. By the year 2030, officials hope to double the amount of recycled wastewater, increasing the safety of water on a global level – meeting many of the sustainable development goals simultaneously.
The recycled wastewater initiative strives to help communities achieve the ability to become more independently sustainable. Where over 80% of wastewater around the world currently returns to the environment - voiding the potential for treatment and reuse. This statistic not only denotes waste, it means that impoverished communities are increasingly more prone to consuming water from a source containing contamination like feces and chemical pollutants, leading many of them to contract illnesses including dysentery, cholera, and other contractible diseases that contribute to over 840,000 deaths annually. In addition to the probable contraction of preventable disease, the presence of commercial pesticides and fertilizer present another set of potential harm.
As urbanization continues, the majority of the population will reside in cities. With the number of city dwellers climbing to nearly 70% over the next 30 years, the demand for a continuous supply of potable water will continue to increase – weighing heavy on the already substantial burden.
The potential that arises from the treatment and reuse of wastewater is vast. Recycling wastewater provides sustainable water sourcing not once available in many areas. While treatment may prove costly, the benefits to the human population and their health prove far more substantial – making efforts to cultivate this innovative solution unquestionably worth the dedication of time and funds.
Providing jobs and fueling a green initiative, wastewater treatment and reuse show promise for our future. The benefits of providing a sustainable water source to meet the growing demands for sustainable water worldwide are substantial. Providing support to agriculture cultivation and safeguarding human health, recycling water is a practice that we can count on becoming more and more prevalent as the transition from traditional water treatment funnels into a fresh and advanced form of delivery.
In moving forward, we can expect to see more pure water, free of endocrine disrupting chemicals and hazardous waste, a reduction in water shortages, and an increase in the health standing of people residing in impoverished locales of developing countries. The benefits of wastewater treatment and reuse are widespread, and awareness of this lends credibility to these efforts. As we continue to follow in the footsteps of sustainable countries like Israel who are already practicing water recycling, we can expect water scarcity to decrease, and a sustainable way of living to take hold.
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