The theme of this year’s UN World Water Day Summit was Wastewater: The untapped resource. This is the first time that the global two-day conference was held in Africa and it was well-attended by dignitaries, including President Jacob Zuma, Dr. Joakim Harlin, Vice-Chair of UN-Water and Prof. Patrick Verkooijen of the World Bank, along with municipal and international leaders, industry leaders and consulting and process engineers.
As a leading water treatment company, with over 350 technologies, Veolia provides customised water and wastewater treatment solutions to address water sustainability. “Africa’s water is too valuable to be used only once,” says Sagren Govender, General Manager of Veolia Water Technologies South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal operations, “and we were invited to demonstrate how our wastewater technologies create sustainable water resources to meet the population’s growing demands.”
Chaired by UNESCO, Veolia hosted a pragmatic session on ‘Water Re-use and Recovery’, followed by an onsite tour of Veolia’s flagship municipal plant: the country’s first PPP water re-use plant, the Durban Water Recycling Project. Veolia designed, constructed and financed this plant that enables the local municipality to divert potable water away from large industrial consumers to supply previously underserviced communities.
By treating municipal sewage for industrial re-use at the plant, Veolia has provided a lower-cost and environmentally sustainable alternative to using drinking water as process water. “We also showcased how our activated sludge, clarification and filtration technologies that are utilised in this plant can be customised to address the various local and international water concerns for the delegates in attendance,” explains Govender.
“The Summit was a great platform for Veolia to showcase its technologies with delegates across the world, addressing both small- and large-scale water treatment possibilities, to enable stakeholders to reach their goals of sustainable water resource development.”
“Growing water sustainably is a global concern and by changing preconceived notions of wastewater treatment, the Summit successfully addressed how municipality- and industry-leaders alike can implement cost-effective and practical water treatment solutions to give water several lives,” concludes Govender.
The United Nations World Water Day 2017 Summit was held on the 22nd to 24th of March at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Conference Centre, Durban, South Africa.