How can we deal with environmental sustainability while achieving economic development?

Integrating ecosystems, water resources and energy to manage wastewater and improve the quality of life in urban areas

Basement Room A-126 September 7, 2017 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

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Mark McCormick, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland, Switzerland


Starting in the late 19th century, improvements in the management of urban wastewater led to a very significant reduction in water born infectious disease. Recent experience and the simple observation that a large fraction of urban wastewater is not adequately treated have shown that the technologies perfected during the 20th century are not appropriate for managing wastewater in the new megacities. Moreover, 21st century problems include new requirements for a high degree of energy efficiency, carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous recycling, protection of drinking water resources, micro pollutant and heavy metal control and desires to create green spaces within urban areas. Additionally, knowledge and practices developed during the past 50 years in the fields of anaerobic digestion, algae culture technology, constructed wetlands, chemical sensors, internet of things and process control make it possible to radically redesign urban wastewater treatment and management in order to meet 21st century requirements. Implementation of new urban wastewater treatment practices could significantly reduce energy consumption, treatment costs and conserve natural water ressources.

The technology readiness of the individual disciplines is very high. What is currently lacking is a common vision and coordination between the disciplines. Contributors will present background knowledge and the state of the art with the goal of preparing the participants from the other disciplines to contribute to the development of an integrated vision.  The ideal outcome of this session would be the creation of a consortium that will seek resources to build demonstration projects.