29 July 2020
Water scarcity and management is central to many environmental challenges and is echoed by CDE customers around the world, as four of our Regional Business Development Managers discuss.
We recently caught up with Bruno Paladino, CDE Regional Manager for Latin America, Daniel Webber, CDE Regional Manager for Australasia, Darren Eastwood, CDE Business Development Director for North America, and Stefan Hunger, CDE Regional Manager for Europe & Russia to talk about water management in the extractive industries.
It’s incomprehensible for most. The notion that around the globe we face issues arising from water stress on a planet whose surface area is made up of over 70% water and whose total water volume – a staggering 96.5% – is contained within our oceans. Whether for consumption or sanitation, clean water in some parts of the world is taken for granted, as we fail to recognise the processes and infrastructure needed to maintain a clean water supply or neglect to acknowledge that basic access to clean water is not universal.
In 2017, 785 million people lacked a basic drinking water service, including 144 million people who were dependent on untreated surface water, 206 million who had access to an improved water source but were required to make a 30-minute trip for collection, and 435 million who were extracting water from unprotected wells and springs.
While at the most extreme end of the scale more than two billion people live in countries experiencing high water stress, almost two-thirds of the world’s population experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year.
It is indispensable. Essential for life, water is also vital for economies and climate regulation. It is of utmost importance, therefore, that our water resources are protected – even regulated.
The mining and quarrying, manufacturing, and construction sectors accounted for 10.6% of total water use in Europe in 2017 and the industry compounds water scarcity, water efficiency and wastewater management challenges the world over.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with 169 associated targets and 230 indicators, which are an urgent call to action by all countries.
CDE recognises that the benefits arising from sustainable practice and processes are two-fold; they are economically advantageous and minimise our impact on the environment. Indeed, they are green from both perspectives.
To that end, among the SDGs adopted by CDE is number six: Clean Water and Sanitation.
All corners of the globe are facing unique challenges. Parts of Romania and Poland are experiencing the worst drought in a century, with the Czech Republic facing its worst in five centuries; in Australia, over one million fish are estimated to have died between December 2018 and January 2019 in the lower Darling with drought and over-allocation or precious water resources cited as the main causes; and in the most remote locations of North and Latin America, materials producers are responding to the growing challenge of materials wet processing.
Common Water Challenges
Innovations in the washing sector and the continued advancement of CDE’s pioneering wet processing solutions are supporting quarry operators and materials processors alike to overcome the challenges stemming from water management; cost-based, efficiency, sustainability, and regulatory.
CDE’s modular wet processing equipment can contribute to the easing of water scarcity issues arising from the materials processing industry’s consumption of water resources, greatly improve water efficiency, and better wastewater management practices. Developing technological solutions to tackle these mounting challenges is paramount for many materials processors seeking to boost the profitability of their operation by minimising the consumption of costly water resources.
Stefan Hunger, CDE Regional Manager for Europe & Russia, and Daniel Webber, for Australasia, report increasing regulations governing the responsible use and management of water in the industry, including those aimed at protecting marine environments and water sources from pollution and over-abstraction.