Interdependency stress-tests & cutting green house gas emission
Early 2019, our company officially pointed out the need to detect virus (e.g. SARS, meningitis, ebola, poliomyelitis) in wastewater. In 2020, scientists agreed that the SARS Covid-19 global pandemic could have been avoided thanks to our warnings.
About 380km3 of municipal and 600km3 of industrial wastewater are produced every year and are full of valuable substances like phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. Approximately 80% of wastewater is still not treated and the balance is often not transformed efficiently nor with routine virus detection. Wastewater often contains contaminants harmful to the environment and health such as micro-plastics and/or heavy metals. This situation is currently the biggest weapon of mass destruction and costs USD trillions in climate changes and other consequences.
Failure to not consider wastewater and not to understand how disruptions can cascade to others is dangerous and makes missing opportunities. Today’s biggest social, environmental and economic challenges can be solved at a large scale by analysing, transforming and valuing wastewater resources that is generated everyday.
EXAMPLE OF INTERDEPENDENCY STRESS-TEST FOR AGRI-COMMODITIES:
Commodity traders and/or insurers and/or finance can ask their suppliers, transporter and storage partners to source inputs from transformed wastewater such as bio-fertilisers, treated wastewater for irrigation or renewable energy for competitive differentiation.
This simultaneously secures markets by making sure that populations are safe and can get some basic needs covered by the value of their wastewater.
Water//energy & cyber interdependencies
In this example, water use for fracking shale gas reduces availabilities for crops. Risks for data and internet depending on oil energy increase systemic risks. Wastewater based epidemiology can be driven by demands for energy from wastewater.
Pressures on water overuse and/or pollution (volumes and quality) impact hygiene and health.
Water//food security nexus
Water pollution does not recognise any border. Sea fishing possibilities are reduced or spoiled by micro-plastics. This means reduced access to a key source of protein.
Negative domino effects can be cut thanks to the W2AREX® bringing benefits and returns for all market participants and releasing pressure on non renewable resources.
In this example, the request for bio-cotton grown with bio-fertilisers and clean water from wastewater drives increased access to sanitation, to basic revenues and reduces pollution.
Public procurement through our services enable to turn interdependent risks into reduced:
- public expenses,
- pollution, resources scarcity and health risks,
Water Risks for some commodities
This map shows the baseline water stress in crop producing areas. It is measuring the ratio of local water withdrawal over available water supply.
The Water Footprint (see ISO 14046) measures the consumption and contamination of freshwater resources.
Water is the unavoidable input of every products and services: water is indeed the most traded good in the world. About 70% of the water used at global level is for agriculture and 15% for energy. In a world that can no longer take ample, secured and unpolluted water supplies for granted, we help our clients to manage their water costs, exposures and not miss any wastewater reuse opportunity.
Value of wastewater as raw material without virus detection
In 2010 Prof. Willy Verstraete, environmental biotechnologist at Ghent University, calculated that every 1,000 gallons of wastewater contained the equivalent of $1.88 worth of fertilizer, energy as methane, and clean water. Since then, new technologies enable wastewater to be transformed efficiently into polymers, biogas, biofuels, bio-cements, clean water…etc and resources such as phosphorus can be recovered. Leverage effects of wastewater transformation are on health, biodiversity and ecosystem services and resilience. Most of those wastewater by-products are cheaper, locally available and more efficient than the classical alternatives.
(source of picture: www.waterindustryjournal.co.uk)
Value of wastewater with virus detection prior the up-cycling
The value of wastewater is higher when it has been analysed prior its transformation. Viruses (e.g. SARS-CoV dead or alive), over pollution, bacteria (e.g. cholera), antibiotics and/or other contaminants can indeed be detected for early warnings of potential pandemics and/or other negative and costly consequences. We act to scale-up decentralised wastewater transformation sites to narrow the geographic area where individuals are shedding viruses or other contagious bacteria and for reducing risks (e.g. leaking).
We also push for decentralised wastewater transformation to reduce the negative impacts of wastewater mixology.