In Europe, there are significant challenges with regard to water quality and quantity. As reflected by the Blueprint to safeguard Europe’s water resources, almost half of Europe’s freshwaters are at risk of not achieving good ecological status, the main objective of the EU Water Framework Directive by 2015, with adverse effects on biodiversity and public health and hampering the provision of ecosystem services. Water is a vital resource but it faces some great challenges such as water scarcity, pollution and ecosystem degradation. These challenges become more and more pressing as the climate is continuously changing and the world population increasing.
Wastewater treatment innovations can:
- Lower the costs of wastewater treatment through waste recovery and reuse
- Minimize environmental pollution
- Streamline the detection of chemical and biological contaminants at extremely low levels
- Increase the total available water resources
- Decrease the risks of contaminant exposure
- Narrow the gap between water supply and demand
Significant investments and industrial technologies are needed to maintain water infrastructures inside Europe and in other developed countries. As we concluded in another article, most innovations in the area of wastewater treatment focus on the premise that water can be a valuable resource. Researchers in this industry focus on developing advanced technologies to reuse wastewater and to make these technologies more cost-effective.
Globally, we are challenged to find better ways to manage water and reduce the negative impact on the environment. Common goals of research labs and technology developers include increasing efficiency in industrial processes, minimizing environmental consequences, and enhancing the available water infrastructure. Because of the lack of appropriate methods in wastewater treatment, environmental contaminations are still frequently detected. Efficient and applicable techniques for removing pollutants remain a challenge of a high environmental and public health significance. New economically, environmentally and easy methods for water treatment are needed.
We need innovative solutions that meet both technical and economic criteria. Innovation needs to improve the way industries and municipalities manage their water resources at lower costs and higher quality. For these cost-effective and high-quality innovations to happen water providers, research scientists and technology developers need to partnership closely. The financial costs of water reuse are stringent issues for the private and public sector on which we, as technology developers must focus. Common goals of water resource professionals include increasing efficiencies in engineering processes while minimizing environmental consequences, preserving public capital investment, and enhancing the level of service of costly but necessary water infrastructure.