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Tyndall Manchester

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New research published on the life cycle assessment of alternative techniques for augmenting drinking water supplies in developing countries

21 January 2021

The article by Dr Alejandro Gallego Schmid and collaborators from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (Brazil) highlights that the environmental sustainability of adaptations to urban water infrastructure should be evaluated.

river with huts along bank

Published in the Journal of Cleaner Production, the article highlights that the scarcity of potable water is already a major concern in many urban centres worldwide due to climate change, rapid urbanization and other factors. These issues have required cities, especially those in developing countries, to adapt their urban water infrastructure to augment potable water availability. Yet, the environmental sustainability of these adaptations should be evaluated. The authors compared seawater desalination by reverse osmosis, indirect potable wastewater reuse with managed aquifer recharge and rainwater harvesting with 15 life cycle environmental impacts. The results showed that wastewater reuse is the option with the lowest environmental impacts.

The paper concludes that quantification of the environmental impacts of alternative techniques for drinking water supplies are important for evaluating the sustainability of urban centres.

Read the full paper at the link below- 

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