Water is a basic need for every life form on the planet. As the population grows and countries continue to develop, the demand for water also increases significantly. As a result, the waste produced from the use of water is also rising. The water and wastewater sectors face challenges in increasing demand for water, improving water quality standards as well as the need to adapt to climate change. And with the global community pledging to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C, all sectors have started to pave their ways towards solutions that will meet the target.
The Nationally Determined Contribution Roadmap on Mitigation has been set out for 2021-2030, and is divided into energy and transport, industrial processes and product use, and waste sectors. Within the waste sectorin Thailand, municipal wastewater treatment accounts for 47.5% of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In the wastewater sector, GHG emissions are indirectly and directly generated from energy used in wastewater treatment and treatment processes.
Thailand has 101 municipal wastewater treatment facilities.
Source: Pollution Control Department, Thailand
To drive GHG emissions reduction in utilities, the ECAM (Energy Performance and Carbon Emissions Assessment and Monitoring Tool) was developed by the Water and Wastewater Companies for Climate Mitigation Thailand (WaCCliM) project, which is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The tool can be used for GHG emissions assessment, energy performance assessment and identifying opportunities to improve operational efficiency and services for reducing CO2 emissions in the water and wastewater sectors.
It follows a tiered approach. Tier A helps utility managers and operators to understand the overall energy usage and total GHG emissions at the system-wide level. Tier B provides details on energy use and GHG emissions at the individual stage level of the urban water cycle. The web-based tool enables utilities to identify areas of improvement and evaluate solutions and scenarios for developing a feasible carbon reduction strategy as well as future reporting needs on climate mitigation.
The reduction of the GHG emissions will
1. Reduce energy use
2. Reduce cost of the operation
3. Reduce the impact of untreated wastewater in natural water sources
4. Achieve the GHG reduction target of the country
The ECAM tool is free and available at http://wacclim.org/ecam/index.php. Guidelines, calculation principles and training documents are also provided.
Recently, municipal and Bangkok-based officers from the Thai Wastewater Management Authority participated in a workshop on the ECAM Tool and GHG emissions in wastewater sector. The workshop not only provided technical knowledge but also an opportunity to train others in this area.
Thailand ratified the Paris Agreement in September 2016. The country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) intend to reduce GHG emissions by at least 20% by the year 2030 compared to the projected business as-usual level.