Cabecera Web Econom A Circular

Circular Economy: Water and Energy

Throughout history, humanity has needed the resources provided by nature to evolve as a society and pursue greater well-being. From nature, we obtain raw materials that, through various artisanal or industrial processes, become the basic and essential inputs consumed as products or services by the majority of society.

However, these natural resources are in danger due to the impact of human activities, not only because of the current way of life but also due to the projected demographic increase. It is estimated that by 2050, nearly three Earths will be needed to sustain the current consumption style. The need to adopt new sustainable modes of production and consumption is more than justified.

Circular economy: the role of water

In order to achieve sustainable development, it is crucial to adopt the circular economy as an alternative economic model to the current one, where usage replaces consumption. Although it seems more focused on material management, the water sector cannot be left out of this strategy.

Population and economic growth have driven a rapid increase in the demand for water resources. Resources are regenerated within the hydrological cycle or recovered through the technical cycle, involving reuse. In the hydrological cycle, various processes allow the regeneration of discarded materials, and through the technical cycle, using renewable energies, waste is transformed into new resources.

In this new economic approach, wastewater goes from being considered added value to becoming a stream enriched with compounds of its own value. Wastewater treatment is no longer just considered an industry aimed at mitigating its components to produce water that meets legal discharge limits; it is seen as a productive industry itself.

What benefits do treated wastewater have?

In addition to environmental benefits, wastewater treatment offers other significant advantages that should be considered:

  • It can be used to generate clean energy. Treatments that purify water for discharge into seas or rivers without environmental problems require technologies with high energy and economic costs. However, if organic residues from treatment plants are transformed into energy, wastewater treatment facilities become energy generators instead of consumers, producing clean water returned to the local ecosystem.
  • Reduces water insecurity and enables adaptation to climate change.
  • Allows the recovery of nutrients for the soil, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium contained in wastewater, thereby reducing dependence on synthetic fertilizers.

However, the water reuse will reach its full development when not only environmental sustainability parameters are considered but also economic ones. Beyond sector-specific indicators, such as the percentage or destination of reused water and energy use, it is essential to emphasize its profitability. Reuse is a fundamental part of the present and future of the water sector.

The transition to a low-emission economy is a priority at Almar Water Solutions. We are constantly studying businesses related to water and the environment to contribute to the circular economy and expand our portfolio of sustainable solutions. Therefore, we have a new division called New Ventures for projects that, through innovation, generate a positive environmental and social impact. We invest in technology and resources that help create a more resilient and sustainable society, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.

We aim to create value for our partners and meet the environmental goals of the future.