Water is the most important resource to humankind. In some form or another it is used and consumed by every living organism on the planet and is the backbone of life as we know it.
Water plays an important role in every home and business around the world. Whether it is the supply of drinking water through subterranean pipes, or the neatly packaged bottles of water for the fluoride-conscious consumer, we depend on water.
Every summer we hear the same news about our water sources and the restrictions that are placed on us to manage the ever-reducing supply and increasing demand. At home we make smart choices; only watering the lawn on our watering days, turning the tap off while brushing our teeth, and using pool covers to reduce evaporation, to name a few. All these small changes make a big difference when implemented on a large scale. We are compelled to make these changes because we can see the difference it makes to our water bill and because (perish the thought!) the dams do run out one day.
I know what you are thinking, “we have desalination plants, surely we’re not going to literally run out of water.” But at what cost do we take that chance?
For every household and business, as with all consumption, there is the generation of waste. Wastewater from domestic, industrial and commercial uses costs us to dispose, just as the water costs us to consume. Effectively we are paying for it twice, so it make sense to use less to start with. The less we use, the less we waste, and therefore the less it costs.
That is all well and good but that is not how it really works. Our demand for water can only be reduced so much before it affects our way of life or our business. We can stop dripping taps and install water saver shower heads all we like, but we still need to use and consume water.
If we pay to dispose of water as we pay to consume water, and we have reduced our consumption to our absolute minimum, then the only way to save water (and money) is to reduce, reuse, renew or re-THINK what we do with our wastewater.
From domestic through to industrial uses, there are more innovative ways than ever to manage wastewater. Improvements in water technology, education and understanding are allowing us to use wastewater in more applications, in less time, and for less money than ever before.
There is so much more that can and will be achieved in the management of wastewater and it is only limited to our imagination. The future of the water industry is in our ability to think outside the box and continually adapt and rise to new challenges.
I vote for a name change to ”Renewable Water” instead of ”Wastewater.”
Let us forget the idea that it is water that is a waste, and think of it as water waiting to be used.
Joshua Watson, MAK Water Service Supervisor NSW