There is a close connection between water and energy. Water is needed for energy supply and energy is also needed for water supply. On one hand, water is used in electricity production, in form of hydropower and in cool-steaming electric power plants as well as for fuel extraction, refining, production, and cultivation of crops for biofuel. On the other hand, it takes significant energy to extract and treat wastewater; energy is also exerted for household and industrial water use in heating and cooling.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goal six and seven (UNSDG 6&7) are about achieving safe and affordable drinking water and ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, modern energy for all, respectively. However, there is no way water and energy can be available for all when substantial energy is ‘wasted’ through the use of ‘vampire’ energy products and inefficient utilisation of water.
Despite the fact that about half of the Nigerian population lack access to modern energy, one of the reasons for the shortage of energy in the country is the lack of efficient energy practices. Unfortunately, the cost of providing energy can be several times the cost of saving it. Since the household sector accounts for the largest share of energy use in the country (in form of cooking, lightning and in the use of electrical appliances), energy efficient measures must be taken by individuals to ensure that the available energy supply is conserved as much as possible and one efficient means to saving energy is by saving water.
For Nigeria to meet up with the Global Goals; adequate water and energy supply for all citizens is required. Nigerians have a duty to conserve and reuse water through basic efficient practices; for instance, checking for water leaks, turning off taps when not in use, installing water saving equipment, and recycling wastewater.
Safely managed Wastewater is an affordable and sustainable source of water and energy supply as well as an environmental protection strategy. By striving to increase and improve water sources and quality, we increase the chances of achieving affordable and clean energy. Wastewater can be reused as drinking water, for industry, agriculture, in the rehabilitation of natural ecosystems, and even for hydropower as explored in Australia and recently in South Africa, to conserve and at the same time increase energy generation.
According, to the environmentalist view, 80% of untreated and unused wastewater generated by the society and released back into the ecosystem pollutes the environment. Ultimately, by reducing the amount of ‘excess’ supply of water consumed by every Nigerian, sufficient energy can be saved and access to clean water and energy increased whilst the planet remains protected.
Source: Excerpt from CSR Files Weekly™