Ecolab ramps up solutions to tackle water challenges

Ahead of the World Water Day tomorrow, Arjan Boogaards, Senior vice president and president of the MEA region, Ecolab, says that technological solutions are key to tackling growing water challenges in the region

Arjan Boogaards, Senior vice president and president of the MEA region, Ecolab
Arjan Boogaards, Senior vice president and president of the MEA region, Ecolab

We are acutely aware that water scarcity is a pressing global issue, especially here in the Middle East. According to the World Bank, the Middle East suffers from the scarcest water resources globally. We believe acting sustainably makes economic sense. There are several challenges facing sustainability in the region and the main one is simply that we are using more water than we should.

According to the UN World Development Report 2017, only an estimated 51% of municipal and industrial wastewater is treated in the MENA region. Understanding that and keeping in mind that the region is already at a high risk due to low water sources, is not enough and there is significant room for improvement.

In our view, with government tightening regulations towards water usage and Ecolab’s technologies, we can help our customers both save money and secure their future by reducing their water footprint. Simple mathematics explains it: there is a finite amount of fresh water in the world and an increasing number of people who need it – more than 9 billion people by 2050, according to the UN. This is critical - we need to preserve this scarce resource for generations to come.

At Ecolab, we understand the need to develop solutions to tackle this issue. Some examples of our work in the region include enabling district cooling plants to use treated sewage effluent (TSE) rather than drinking water to operate their cooling towers reduces water consumption.

We also work with food and beverage manufacturing plants to reduce their water footprint. We do this by repurposing their wastewater which minimizes the amount of water being discharged

It is through our innovative digital solutions and on-site expertise, that we help companies in nearly every industry reduce, recycle and repurpose water throughout their operations.

Ecolab is playing its part, but we are only one cog in the machine. We make an exponential impact on water sustainability by helping customers across the spectrum reduce fresh water use and minimize environmental impact.

Through our smart water management solutions, we have partnered with customers to conserve 634 billion liters of water – that’s equivalent to the annual drinking water needs of more than 600 million people.

As an example, lets’ focus on the work being done in Egypt. We managed to save 650 million liters of water equivalent to the annual drinking water needs of one million Egyptians by using one of our innovative solutions.

We understand that all industrial operations require water for cleaning, heating and cooling. Not all this water has to be of potable quality. Our digital solutions enable us to automatically detect areas of increased water usage in customer operations and we use this information to then substitute potable water with treated grey water, optimizing performance, water use and system costs, while maintaining operational performance.

The UAE which has one of the highest consumption rates globally of water per capita, with residents using 550 liters of water per day compared with the international average of 170-300 liters.

Figures suggest that in Abu Dhabi by 2030, it is estimated that annual water demand could grow by 123%, meaning approximately 5 billion liters annually. Globally, the world needs 25% more energy, 40% more water and 35% more food by 2030 according to UN.

There is so much we can do to help governments and businesses reduce, reuse and recycle their water. We are committed to continue to provide cutting-edge technologies and smart innovations to address water-related challenges in the industries we serve, in MENA and globally.  

An example of this is our state of the art PURATE™ technology, an integrated program that consists of an on-site generation system, which has been designed to safely and reliably produce chlorine dioxide on-site where it can be fed either continuously or on demand which is available for water treatment and many other industrial applications.


Most Popular