[Kurukshetra May 2024 Summary] Use of Green Technologies in Sustainable Water Management- Explained Pointwise

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Sustainable water management is a necessity for our present and future generations. The Sustainable water management is a multi-prolonged strategy that rests on four pillars which are environment, economic, social, and energy and resources. Use of green technologies is necessary for sustainable water management.

Water Management
Source- Kurukshetra
Table of Content 
What are the Green Technologies being used in Sustainable Water Management?
What are the advantages of using green technology for sustainable water management?
What are the Success stories of successful implementation of Green technologies?
What are the challenges in the use of green technology in Sustainable water management?
What Should be the Way Forward?

What are the Green Technologies being used in Sustainable Water Management?

Biofilters for storm waterThe storm water is filtered by retrofitting conventional biofilters. There is a submerged (partly anoxic) zone with an embedded carbon source. This helps in cleaning storm water.
DenitrificationDenitrification and removal of copper from storm water have significantly improved the storm water quality. The use of E.Coli improves the water quality for secondary use.
BioreactorsA bioreactor is a device containing bacteria and microorganisms placed on a moving bed biofilm reactor. The waste is deposited on a packed or fibrous bed and attached to a membrane to form a biofilm.
BiofiltersMicroorganisms or bacteria are allowed to grow on biofilters to make a biofilm. Wastewater is passed through biofilm which will speed up the degradation of pollutants and organic matter present in the waste water.
BioremediationMicroorganisms are applied to the wastewater sites to remove dangerous species or to convert toxins into less or non-toxic materials.
Electrowinning Current is passed through wastewater with the help of electrodes. Metals are then electro-extracted from their oxidized forms to deposit on the cathode. Heavy metals including copper, nickel, silver, gold, cadmium, bismuth, cobalt, and others can be recovered
from wastewater through electrowinning.
Desalination Desalination technologies are being used to produce freshwater from seawater. 

Other Green Technologies employed in the field of Water Management

Forward Osmosis It uses a new eco-friendly chemical compound to draw the water molecules through a membrane leaving the salt behind. Then we separate the chemical from water through a heating process. This
chemical can be reused in the process.
Clathrate DesalinationThis technique traps water molecules in carbon dioxide and pressurises water molecules into clathrate crystals. Later, these crystals are broken down to release freshwater.
Dewvapouration This technique humidifies a stream of heated air by running a stream of saline water on a heated surface.
It uses the phase shift of water from liquid to solid state to remove salt from the ice crystals.

What are the advantages of using green technology for sustainable water management?

1. Averting the water scarcity- The indiscriminate exploitation and poor management of water has reduced the per capita annual availability of water, from 1816 cubic metre (cu m) in 2001, to 1544 cu m in 2011 to 1140 cu m in the year 2050. The use of green technology will help in averting the water scarcity.

2. Countering negative effect of climate change-  The use of green technology helps in augmenting the supply of water, falling water table, water quality, and climate change

3. Treatment of Waste water- Waste water treatment using green technology helps in increasing the water resource availability in the country. For ex- Use of Bioremediation, electrowinning technology helps in effective treatment of waste water.

4. Economic Growth and Job Creation- The employment of green technology offers potential for job creation in manufacturing, installation, maintenance, and research and development.

5. Improved Public Health- Green technologies in sustainable water management increases the pollutants removal-efficiency and nutrient recovery. The protection of human health and the environment improves with the employment of green technology in water management.

What are the Success stories of successful implementation of Green technologies?

1. Deep Tunnel Sewerage System- The Deep Tunnel Sewerage System is a massive underground superhighway for Singapore’s used water management. The DTSS has adopted green technologies like energy efficient pumps, advanced membrane bioreactors, and a cogeneration plant that converts biogas into electricity. This process has resulted in reduced energy consumption, lowered carbon emissions, and increased resource recovery from wastewater.

2. Employment of Bio-remediating technique by Oil India- Bio-remediating technique by Oil India reduces oil contamination in water bodies so that these areas can be made conducive to the growth of aquatic life.

3. Werribee Treatment Plant in Melbourne- It has successfully implemented green technologies to achieve sustainable management of wastewater. Each year the plant produces 40 billion litres of recycled water which is then used for irrigation of parks, golf
courses, and agricultural lands.

What are the challenges in the use of green technology in sustainable water management?

1. Scalability and Cost-Effectiveness- The scalability and cost-effectiveness of green technologies for small-scale or remote applications is a major challenge for a developing country like India.

2. Low Public Acceptance- There is low public acceptance of non-chemical water treatment method. It is also influenced by various factors, like economic conditions and changes in government policy.

3. Huge requirement of Investment and Financing- The implementation of green technologies requires significant investment and financing. The requirement of huge investment and finance is a challenge for governments, industries, and individuals.

4. Environmental Impact- Green technologies can have unintended environmental impacts, such as changes in local ecosystems or water quality.

5. Integration with Existing Infrastructure- Green technologies require integration with existing infrastructure. This is can be a challenge due to compatibility issues.

Read More- Green Technologies- Explained Pointwise

What Should be the Way Forward?

1. Research and Development- Continuous research and development are essential for identifying and implementing green technologies that are suitable to the needs of the sector.

2. Collaboration with the stakeholders- The researchers, engineers, and industry professionals must innovate and collaborate to increase the adoption of green technology in water management.

3. Public Policy for Green technology adoption- There must be emphasis on the development of Policy frameworks that include financial incentives, tax breaks, and regulatory requirements that drive the adoption of green technologies.

4. Public Awareness Programs- Massive public awareness programs along with behavioural change are the key to encourage the public and state towards the embracement of green technology.

Read More- MDPI
UPSC Syllabus- GS 3- Environmental Conservation
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