Water and Wastewater Companies for Climate Mitigation (WaCCliM)
Title: Water and Wastewater Companies for Climate Mitigation (WaCCliM)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) in the context of the International Climate Initiative (IKI)
Country: Global with measures in Jordan, Mexico, Peru and Thailand
Lead executing agency: Jordan: Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI), Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ) Mexico: Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT; Secretaría del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales), National Water Comission (CONAGUA; Comisión Nacional del Agua) Peru: Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation (MVCS; Ministerio de Vivienda, Construcción y Saneamiento) Thailand: Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE)
Overall term: 2013 to 2019
Water and wastewater utilities are among the largest consumers of energy in developing and emerging economies. This is partly due to high losses of water (50-60 per cent) and energy (40 per cent). Many water and wastewater utilities in Jordan, Mexico, Peru and Thailand are using out-dated and energy-intensive treatment technologies and pumps. Opportunities for recovering energy and nutrients from wastewater are not being exploited.
Energy efficient pumps, biogas production from wastewater, the reuse of treated wastewater, and the recycling of nutrients could help the utilities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and achieve cost savings. However, in the partner countries the necessary know-how for developing and integrating energy efficiency and energy recovery plans is often insufficient. Moreover, there are no national guidelines or incentives to support water and wastewater companies in reducing their carbon footprint.
Through the introduction of greenhouse gas-reducing technologies, the carbon balance of water and wastewater utilities in Jordan, Mexico, Peru and Thailand has improved, while service levels remain at least constant.
The project introduces greenhouse gas-reducing technologies to water and wastewater companies and thereby improves those companies' CO2 balance. It supports climate protection efforts in the water sector using a cross-sectoral approach known as the ‘urban nexus’, which addresses water, energy and food security in an integrated manner.
In four pilot countries, the project is developing strategies for a climate-resilient, low-emissions water sector. Together with the respective executing agencies, it agrees on measures that take into consideration all components of the urban water system, and optimises them for energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In collaboration with the International Water Association (IWA), the “Energy Performance and Carbon Emissions Assessment and Monitoring” (ECAM) tool was developed to assess potential energy and greenhouse gas savings. This tool makes it possible to measure the water sector’s contribution to climate protection.
In the pilot countries, the project works with experts and managers, advising them on how to improve the policy, regulatory and institutional framework for the integration of emission reduction measures in the water sector. The advice focuses on the wider dissemination of the urban nexus approach, support for the implementation of national mitigation strategies and the introduction of appropriate financing strategies.
In order to consolidate and further spread the technical know-how for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the project supports the development of partnerships between utilities and networks the employees of the pilot utilities with other companies. The lessons learned by the pilot companies and authorities are fed into international guidelines for water and wastewater companies. IWA makes these available on a virtual information platform and also distributes them through international water networks and events.
In addition, trainings are provided on the ECAM tool to inform decision-makers and utility staff about the contribution of the water sector to climate mitigation.
If utilities combine different technologies effectively, it is possible to exploit mitigation potentials from water supply to wastewater treatment. By using biogas produced in sewage treatment facilities to generate energy, and through more energy efficient pumps, significant amounts of CO2 emissions can be reduced.
Optimisation measures at one municipal wastewater treatment facility in Mexico, for example, achieved a reduction in its carbon footprint by 50 per cent (2,500 tons of CO2 equivalent per year). Measures to increase pump efficiency are expected to lead to energy savings of 10-15 per cent.
In the city of Cusco in Peru, 5,300 tons of CO2 equivalent are saved each year through optimised sewage sludge treatment. At the same time, there are plans for the implementation of an electrical utilisation of biogas by a cogeneration system through which more than 650 tons of CO2 equivalent are avoided annually.
For the pilot utility in Jordan, savings potentials for greenhouse gas reduction were identified in the areas of biogas utilisation, pump efficiency, renewable energies and water loss reduction. The total reduction potential of all identified measures amounts to 10,000 tons CO2 equivalent each year, which corresponds to 36 per cent of the company's total greenhouse gas emissions.
In the city of Chiang Mai in Thailand, a potential of 130 tonnes CO2 equivalent was determined, which could be saved each year, if all the measures are taken to optimise the energy efficiency of pumping stations and reduce the amount of water infiltration into the sewer network.
More than 200 water experts of the partner countries have participated in trainings on climate mitigation in the water sector and the ECAM tool.