Effects of Climate Change on Water Treatment Processes
Water treatment processes such as reverse osmosis or seawater desalination have made the lives of the general population easier. These technologies help meet the residential, commercial and industrial water purification needs with ease.
By: AMPAC USA
The most vital challenge is inundated water supplies. As sea levels are rising, facilities like reverse osmosis plants that are located near the sea, lakes or other large water bodies, are at the risk of getting the infrastructure inundated. The seawater levels are rising primarily due to snow melting that occurs due to rising global temperatures. Several coastal cities will likely experience up to a 10-inch increase in the water levels. This problem can be faced by changing the location of the water treatment facilities and investing in portable reverse osmosis or seawater desalination solutions.
Another challenge faced by water treatment facilities is the increase in disasters such as storms, hurricanes, etc. These disasters often have the potential to ruin the entire facilities in one go. This challenge can be met by adopting a more resilient and sturdier infrastructure that can stay stable during every disaster. Quality solutions like usage of stainless-steel structures can be helpful.
Droughts are another challenge that has risen rapidly in the last few years, especially in the US. Even flourishing cities like California have faced severe drought crisis in the last few years (2011-2019). Few solutions to this challenge could be the adoption of seawater desalination technology or the adoption of emergency reverse osmosis systems that can ensure the availability of water in drought-hit areas.
Floods are another challenge that has risen recently as a part of climate change. They make water treatment tough by triggering issues like sewer overflows, which raise the levels of water contamination and make water non-consumable by people. Adopting other newer means of water treatment such as forward osmosis could be a solution to this issue.
The dire effects of climate change are not only leading to depletion of freshwater sources, but it is also making the water treatment process more complicated over time. Steps must be taken by manufacturers of systems like reverse osmosis, the government and the authorities responsible for water treatment to ensure that the infrastructure is developed and enhanced in time to meet the challenges.