Early 2019, our company pointed out the need to detect virus in wastewater. In 2020, the scientific community hasn’t contested that the pandemic could have been avoided thanks to our warnings.
Failure to understand how disruptions can cascade to others is dangerous and makes missing opportunities.
About 80% of wastewater remains untreated today (source: United Nations); the balance (approximately 20% of wastewater) is often treated without efficiency nor virus detection. This situation is currently the biggest weapon of mass destruction and costs USD trillions in climate changes and other consequences. Wastewater often contains contaminants harmful to the environment and health such as micro-plastics and/or heavy metals.
Paradoxically 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. We combine the prevention possibilities offered by wastewater-based epidemiology (not only for the SARS-Cov and prior clinical diagnostic testing) with wastewater up-cycling. This enables to guarantee respect of quarantine – if necessary – even for disadvantaged populations and:
- business security, continuity and new markets: for example, buffer stocks of treated water to be used as energy storage and/or for insurance purposes (e.g. weather/crop shortfall/parametric insurance) and/or to reduce price volatilities;
- endemic management through wastewater to identify “silent” cases;
- risks management (e.g. decentralised bio-refineries to collect floods and command/control hubs for food security and other basic needs).
EXAMPLE OF INTERDEPENDENCY STRESS-TEST FOR AGRI-COMMODITIES:
Water is the unavoidable input of every products and services: water is indeed the most traded goods in the world. About 70% of the water used at global level is for agriculture. In a world that can no longer take ample, secured and unpolluted water supplies for granted, we help our clients to manage their water risks to reduce proactively their costs and exposures and/or not miss any wastewater reuse opportunity. Commodities can source inputs from transformed wastewater such as bio-fertilizers, treated wastewater for irrigation as per ISO 16075 or renewable energy at cheaper costs ; this simultaneously secure markets by making sure that populations are safe and get some basic needs covered by the value of their wastewater.
We take into account domino effects of water risks and externalities such as:
- volume, storage capacities and periods: flood occurrence, water scarcity, upstream storage, etc (e.g. beet sugar needs less water than cane sugar)
- availabilities versus demands or needs (e.g. if rivers are facing droughts, transport costs can be higher because of vessel draft restrictions)
- wastewater data (including virus detection, temperature, contamination, etc. ),
- infrastructures: water rights, digital monitoring, operating status, etc.
- geography and related foreign/distance dependence,
- and cyber risks.
In this example, water use for fracking shale gas reduces availabilities for cotton or other crops.
In that case, pressure on water overuse for textiles and water pollution by this industry and water needs (volumes and quality) impact hygiene and health.
Water//food security nexus
Water pollution does not recognise any border. Sea fishing possibilities are therefore reduced or spoiled by micro plastics. This means that fish e.g. in Africa are becoming more expensive reducing access to a key source of protein and therefore increasing health and development risks.
Negative domino effects can be cut thanks to our W2AREX® solutions 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 treated water from wastewater drives increased access to sanitation, to basic revenues and reduces pollution.
Our stress-test services are available in 3 ways:
- tailor made
- for assessing interdependent infrastructures including water supply and wastewater plants, energy systems (electric power, oil, natural gas, solar), telecommunications, transportation (road, rail, air, water), banking and finance, health and emergency and government services.
- monthly report for our members (yearly subscription)
The Water Footprint (see ISO 14046) measures the consumption and contamination of freshwater resources.
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.
Water Impact Index and vital needs
‘Water allocation according to the water exploitation index to enable ground water recharge and/or in priority for basic human needs (e.g. 2000 liter /day/capita as minimum water footprint for dignity with 1 liter water for 1 calorie + water footprint for clothes, housing, etc.)
Value of wastewater without virus detection
A bio-refinery uses wastewater raw materials for the sustainable generation or recovery of products while reducing net waste products. Transforming wastewater e.g. into renewable energy, bio-fertilisers, clean water or bio-cements dramatically reduces the production costs and risks.
Providing wastewater means access to sanitation.
The value of wastewater can be higher than the value of clean water! Each person and company generates wastewater and can benefit from the Circular Economy Value Chain via our Rewarding services.
(source of picture: www.waterindustryjournal.co.uk)
Value of wastewater with virus detection prior to 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.