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Wastewater management within circular economy model: current perspectives for Nepal
Anish Ghimire, Vincenzo Luongo, Luigi Frunzo

Last modified: 2017-08-31

Abstract


Wastewater is an untapped resource. It can represent an alternative yet reliable source of energy (biofuels), materials (metals, biochemicals), nutrients (fertilizer). The conventional perspectives view wastewater treatment and management as an action of removing the pollutants present in wastewater in the various forms of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, metals, etc. A sustainable circular economy (CE) model emphasize on recycling and reuse of materials, minimize pollution and waste production and encourages the use of sustainable energy in the over all process. Therefore, CE model embraces all the features of sustainable wastewater management.

Nepal has joined the global community to achieve a Sustainable Development Goal 6 and its associated targets, i.e. ensure access to water and sanitation for all. Nepal government have planned to construct five centralized wastewater treatment plants in Kathmandu to protect urban water environment and improve sanitation conditions. In this regards, this paper illustrates the CE model for current and future perspectives of wastewater management in growing cities of Nepal. The innovative and CE based wastewater management best practices around the world are reviewed and illustrated. Alternatively, the potential of the wastewater treatment plants as engines for CE have been assessed following the three interrelated pathways i.e. the water, materials and energy pathways. Moreover, the assessment of different drivers and challenging barriers in the context of Nepal can pave a way for creation of wastewater based biorefinery for the production of water, energy and value-added products.

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