Claims of both sustainable and unsustainable technologies need to be substantiated quantitatively. If we accept the premise that current technologies can be continually improved in terms of economic benefit, societal good and environmental performance, all current technologies can be understood to be relatively unsustainable. It is however conceivable that with a particular technology providing a particular service, there can come a point from which no further improvement in any of the three domains of sustainability can be achieved. At that point, we will have achieved a sustainable technology. Since we will not know when that situation will arise, we should judge sustainability in relative terms. More sustainable technologies, therefore, are what we would be seeking. There are however many claims of sustainable technologies, the so-called green washing, that have not been presented with quantitative assessment based on metrics or indicators that cover the sustainability concerns. Typically they would be addressing only one prominent concern, most frequently it appears to be global warming. To elicit credibility, this situation has to change by incorporating all potential indicators of sustainability.
There are many types of sustainable systems at global, regional, institutional and technology scales that are considered and reported upon. In this talk only the technology scale will be considered. The first order of business in a sustainability analysis with an eye to ascertain if a technology is more sustainable than another serving the same function, suitable quantitative metrics or indicators need to be chosen. It must be assured that all three dimensions of sustainability will be sufficiently covered. It is possible that some indicators will have attributes that would be over-represented, thus introducing bias in the analysis. Thus a prioritization of the indicators should be conducted to yield the number of necessary and sufficient indicators. Lastly a quantitative analysis must be performed to show that one option is clearly superior to the rest from a sustainability viewpoint. This presentation will show the recent advances made in each of these elements of the process of analysis with examples of industrial systems.
The increase in the world population that has occurred has placed increasing pressure on the demands of world society, and especially that of industrial and agricultural production. The accelerating development of countries with large populations has resulted in increased demands on agricultural production and processing, which resulted in further increases in energy and water demands. The supplies sharply increase in cost and many cases of shortages of all forms of energy and water are witnessed.
The resources for energy supply have been limited. Clean water availability is limited as well and mostly water requires energy to be cleaned and delivered. A key task is to deliver the resources to the demand locations. This creates logistic and in many cases political problems.
Fossil fuel resources and delivery has been of paramount importance to industrialised countries and cause considerable struggle resulting in many conflicts. Nuclear energy can be generated in the region of the needed consumption. However, it raises safety and environmental issues. Renewable sources can be harvested inside or close to the region of consumption. However, they have problems with variable availability in time, intensity and handling their supply flows.
A similar situation has been developing in water and fresh water supply and waste water minimisation. This has been also related to industrial and agricultural development as well as increasing civic demand and consumption. Water is very often used hot or chilled which requires energy. What solutions improving the state-of-the-art can be offered by advanced engineering? The solution of the energy and water flows on the global scale demands enormously extensive models supplied with the large volume of data. To the some scale this can be dealt with, however on global forum are political interests of various key players outside the reach of engineering studies.
Based on the analysis of present situation a well rehearsed engineering bottom to top approach is suggested. There have been very successful real life studies and even implementations delivered for total sites:
A methodology has been under progressing development for both energy and water supply and for optimisation of emission/effluents treatment flows. The main guiding principle is to minimise the net resource intake/demand of the considered systems at each level. The presentation provides an overview of the most recent developments in the field and potentials future research directions.
Jordan is considered one of the countries in the world with the scarcest of water resources. This has led to deterioration of the groundwater quality and an increase in the salinity levels. The dominant environmental challenge facing Jordan is the scarcity of the Kingdom\\\'s water resources in an arid land with unpredictable rainfall and an expanding population. Rainfall is confined largely to the winter season and ranges from around 660 mm in the north west of the country to less than 130 mm in the extreme east. Major surface water resources are the Yarmouk and Zarqa rivers, and the associated side wadis, all flowing westward into the River Jordan and the Dead Sea. Whilst high evaporation rates result in relatively low annual stream flows, the high infiltration rates common in Jordan result in high rates of groundwater recharge. Water conservation is being pursued through increased water recycling, improved irrigation techniques and reducing water loss in distribution; whilst on the supply side is examining the potential for increased desalination, including schemes to transport sea water from Aqaba to the Dead Sea to restore its level and generate potable water, and further investment in dams and domestic reservoirs to collect and hold rainwater.
Based upon comprehensive information on Jordan and the problems and constraints, there is a serious water problem; the demand is exceeding the supply, although all conventional sources have been developed. There is a clear necessity for developing non-conventional water supplies, and there should be a high alert towards the need for conservation, management, and efficiency enhancement measures within the water sector, i.e., an action plan should be developed and enforced: overall integrated water resources planning and development.
This paper reviews the basic water plans in Jordan, including water resources available, analysis of supply and demand, impacts of water scarcity, water management options, and current situation and future need of desalination, as the only realistic hope, energy requirements for desalination. Using a decision-support system through a multi-criteria analysis, an attempt was made to assist decision-makers to evaluate the various available non-conventional water resources in terms of economic, technical, availability, reliability and environmental sustainability.