Blockchains & Circular Economy Strategies in Water Recycling and Reuse

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INTRODUCTION

Water covers two-thirds of the world, but only 1% of it is suitable for human use. On Earth, there are 326 million trillion gallons of water. The remaining 97 per cent is salt water, which is unfit to drink. Freshwater makes up 2.5 per cent of the total, but most of it is locked in the poles or deep below. This leaves us with about 0.4 per cent to distribute among the 7 billion people on the planet. Water scarcity has cut off access to clean drinking water to over a 4.5billion people around the globe. One out of every three people in the world is subjected to such conditions according to the World Health Organization. Around 2021-2026, the demand for wastewater reuse and recycling technologies is expected to increase at a per cent per annum (CAGR) of 13.8 per cent, from $21.3 billion to $40.5 billion in 2021 and 2026 respectively at an international level. (Repp, Hekkert & Kirchherr, 2021)

Figure 1: Water Stress by Country

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDG 6)

SDG 6 is crucial for long-term development because Sanitation and safe drinking water are fundamental human rights. “By 2030, enhance the quality of the water by decreasing contamination, eradicating disposal, and limiting the emission of dangerous compounds, lowering the share of greywater, and significantly expanding reuse and recycling globally,” according to Target 6.3.

The share of aggregate, industry, and home effluent flows that are adequately cleaned in line with appropriate local requirements are tracked by indicator 6.3.1. Wastewater and waste sludge, processed on-site or off-site, are included in the home element, with links to indicator 6.2.1a on sanitary conditions.

Data

Home wastewater data was generated, covering around 80% of the world. In 2020, 57% of the houses were joined to sewers while those connected to septic tanks comprised 24% of the wastewater amounts produced worldwide giving a total of about 81% of the net total in the world. although a total of 16% was recovered from the sewage lines, they consequently lose around 66% of the affluent a bit higher than the 46% recorded from the septic tank. This has been attributed to the uncontrolled flow of sewage out of septic storage containment (Tisserand, 2012). Apart from the aforementioned loopholes in sanitation and wastewater m, management, the other factors and methods away from what was discussed showed a total loss of 19% of the total lost wastewater.

Figure 2: Treated Wastewater Effluent Source: (“Summary Progress Update 2021: SDG 6 — water and sanitation for all | UN-Water”, 2021)

Trend

Around the world, 44% of home wastewater is not effectively managed (UN Water, 2021).  In 89 countries, 60 per cent of water bodies enjoy a good ambient quality of water (UN Water, 2021). The majority of nations do not acquire hydrologic data in real-time. This implies that the quality of their freshwater systems poses a threat to over 3 billion people (UN Water, 2021) Only 52 of the 89 countries having water quality statistics possess statistics on groundwater, which in itself is significant since groundwater generally accounts for the majority of a nation’s freshwater (UN Water, 2021) Over 80% of effluent is anticipated to be dumped into the ecosystem without sufficient purification on a worldwide scale. Seeking to exploit wastewater as a commodity opens up a plethora of possibilities.

Wastewater that is carefully managed provides a cost-effective and long-term source of water, electricity, fertilizers, and other recyclable resources. (United Nations World Water Development Report, 2017). Numerous water-borne infections, such as cholera and schistosomiasis, are still common in many impoverished nations, where only a small percentage of home and urban effluent is cleaned before being released into the ecosystem (in some cases less than 5%). (UN WWDR, 2017). The rewards of wastewater reuse to public health, economic progress, and ecological sustainability – including new enterprise prospects and job creation – much surpass the expenses. Pollution has an impact on the water supply. Industrial agriculture, manufacturing output, excavation, and unprocessed stormwater runoff and effluent are the main causes of water quality issues. 2011 (UN-Water). 1.8 billion consumers drink faeces-contaminated water, placing them at risk of developing diseases like cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio. (UNICEF/WHO, 2015).

Figure 3: 2021 Waste Water Trend Source: (“Summary Progress Update 2021: SDG 6 — water and sanitation for all | UN-Water”, 2021)

CIRCULAR ECONOMY PERSPECTIVE

This particular model is derived Using the drive towards industrialization and the adoption of innovative economic concepts to provide further gains Maximize the highest benefit from air/wastewater assets and avoid unnecessary waste getting to landfills, for example: Increase efficiency and performance, Stimulate the regional market by introducing new merchandise and creating jobs, and lower our environmental impact.

Figure 4: Circular approach – water and wastewater business cycle source: (“Circlur economy model for water and wastewater management”, 2021)

Elements Of Circular Economy Perspective

The circular economy focuses on sustainable principles and guidelines in its model. These have been highlighted as follows:

  • Clean sources of water
  • Water utilities that are resilient and reliable.
  • Socioeconomic inclusion
  • Successfully developed cities
  • Water industrial competitiveness
  • Sustainable water utilization

Figure 5: Elements of Circular Economy Perspective source: (“Circlur economy model for water and wastewater management”, 2021)

BLOCKCHAIN IN WATER MANAGEMENT

There is a rising urgency for the water industry to develop new techniques to manage international water shortages and water safety concerns. Water services have significant hurdles in addressing the demand of rising urban populations on a local level. Expensive regulated schemes may not be the solution ahead, and blockchain technologies will be critical to this modern electronic water world if (or when) the projected shift toward decentralization and modernization materializes (Chohan, 2019). Various exciting concepts are emerging, aided by blockchain, to establish decentralized asset socioeconomic systems. Blockchain technology can assist in the mediation of transactions among both producers and consumers, as well as the recording of precise trades of water resource resources and revenues via modern electronic monetary systems such as cryptocurrency. This technique offers a great ability to decentralize and democratize asset use and monitoring, putting people at the centre of long-term sustainability (Chohan, 2019)

Need For Blockchain and Circular Economy in the Water management system

The inevitable scarcity of supply of water, of course, is at the forefront of issues in the subject of water conservation and preservation, for which there is little that can be done. However, we can certainly consider how to manage whatever water resources we have efficiently. Water is integral to the agriculture business. Heavy irrigation operations not only injure and overuse agricultural land but also make it more drought-prone. One of the major causes of water scarcity in several locations is excess usage of water supplies without efficient management.

Droughts lead to decreased agricultural production, jeopardizing the fundamental human need for sustenance and, as a consequence, lowering the living standard. Such areas remain critically starved because they are unable to provide nourishment to their inhabitants, which are basic needs (Tisserand, 2012).  As a result, effective water management is necessary to regulate water supplies. Even though water is a primary necessity and a daily requirement, it is nonetheless considered a tradable commodity by a segment of the population to make money and gain. Furthermore, the quality of water has been an ongoing issue that is yet to be resolved. Whereas the majority of water on earth is salt water, which is unsafe to drink, few techniques have been created to solve this problem. Several water micropollutants, such as lead, natural organic matter, garbage, and residue from businesses, are also to blame for water contamination.

Figure 6: Need for Blockchain Source: (“The Blockchain approach for a better Water Management System”, 2021)

Figure 7: Market Revenue share For Recycling water. Source: (“Global Water Recycling and Reuse Market Report 2021, Market Size, Growth, CAGR, Forecast, Revenue”, 2021)

BLOCKCHAINS AND CIRCULAR ECONOMY STRATEGIES IN WATER RECYCLING AND REUSE

Blockchain technology could be utilized to create a distributed and fair plan to make sure that water is distributed equally across large regions. Any administrative institution or interim supplier agency primarily relating to water supply might be effectively eliminated from the system. Instead, a Blockchain-based network for community interaction and frictionless transactions, with individuals, companies, and authorities all as players (Tisserand, 2012). Blockchain could be used to construct a customer water trading platform framework in which a customer with a permit to gather water from waterbodies distributes the water to other users at a set price. To enable speedier trade directly even without 3rd parties, blockchain-based systems can be constructed to log all of the activities in this process. A Blockchain-IoT system can be designed to tackle the concerns of water contamination and conserve water. The use of autonomous smarts able to monitor pollutants in water supplies and alert water management to the problem is an excellent concept. These sensors monitor pollution levels while also alerting the appropriate authorities to take action. These sensors can also detect water leaks caused by pipe bursts, which can save a lot of water (Tisserand, 2012).

Changing your company model from linear to circular will be among the various activities as follows: Risk management, Diversification of water sources, Water-friendly design, Water management that is smart, Ecological economic centres, Improving efficiency through innovation, Creating impact/value through partnerships, Developing and retaining abilities, Water conservation, Reuse of water, Innovative financing structures for water pollution control Quality collection and recycling Makes water more accessible, Increasing accessibility and Dealing with joblessness.

Figure 8: Improving Water Resource Management through Blockchain Source: (“The Blockchain approach for a better Water Management System”, 2021)

References

  • Chohan, U. (2019). Blockchain and Environmental Sustainability: Case of IBM’s Blockchain Water Management. SSRN Electronic Journal. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.3334154
  • (“CIRCULAR ECONOMY MODEL FOR WATER AND WASTEWATER MANAGEMENT”, 2021)
  • Global Water Recycling and Reuse Market Report 2021, Market Size, Growth, CAGR, Forecast, Revenue. (2021). Retrieved 23 October 2021, from https://www.cognitivemarketresearch.com/water-recycling-and-reuse-market-report#executive_summary
  • Global Water Recycling and Reuse Market Report 2021, Market Size, Growth, CAGR, Forecast, Revenue. (2021). Retrieved 23 October 2021, from https://www.cognitivemarketresearch.com/water-recycling-and-reuse-market-report#executive_summary
  • Repp, L., Hekkert, M., & Kirchherr, J. (2021). Circular economy-induced global employment shifts in apparel value chains: Job reduction in apparel production activities, job growth in reuse and recycling activities. Resources, Conservation And Recycling, 171, 105621. doi: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2021.105621
  • Summary Progress Update 2021: SDG 6 — water and sanitation for all | UN-Water. (2021). Retrieved 23 October 2021, from https://www.unwater.org/publications/summary-progress-update-2021-sdg-6-water-and-sanitation-for-all/
  • Ocean Mining: A Fluidic Electrochemical Route for LThe Blockchain approach for a better Water Management System. (2021). Retrieved 23 October 2021, from https://blockchainsimplified.com/blog/the-blockchain-approach-for-a-better-water-management-system/ithium Extraction from Seawater | ACS Materials Letters. Accessed October 23, 2021. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsmaterialslett.0c00385
  • Tisserand, A. (2012). From surface to deep water hydrology changes during abrupt climate changes over the last 20,000 years. Quaternary International, 279-280, 494. doi: 10.1016/j.quaint.2012.08.1683
  • UN Water. (2021). Summary Progress Update 2021: SDG 6 — water and sanitation for al. Geneva, Switzerland: UN Water.
  • Water: A Shared Responsibility – The United Nations World Water Development Report 2. (2017). Development In Practice, 17(2), 309-311. doi: 10.1080/09614520701197333

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