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POTENTIAL GLOBAL SOLUTIONS TO

THE PROBLEM OF WATER


SUSTAINABILITY

VARUN KAPADIA
POTENTIAL GLOBAL SOLUTIONS TO THE WATER SUSTAINABILITY PROBLEM

In January 2017, I attended Harvard Model United Nations as a delegate representing the United

States of America. My committee was on water sustainability and climate change, and throughout

committee I discussed potential solutions for the global warming issue at large. We discussed

different topics pertaining to water sustainability like the sewage treatment systems, funding for

cleaning projects, governmental policies and much more. As committee progressed I realized the

genuine seriousness of the problem of climate change and I wanted to spread awareness of the

problem of water sustainability, which was a subset of the climate change. After receiving a special

mention at the conference, I started to do more research about the problem and revised the

resolution that I wrote for the conference. As I started to spread awareness about this topic I

understood that this was something I felt very passionate about and would enjoy studying

environmental science and law in the future. I even watched films and read studies on climate

change, furthermore understanding different perspectives on this global issue. This paper gives a

framework for the R.E.M plan which stands for Research, Execution and Monitoring 3 distinct

methods of approaching this issue. I created this plan in order to attempt to solve the lack of

systematic approaches to the problem. This plan entails ideas from new sewage treatment systems

like aerobic granulation to the formation of lime neutralization sites for acid mine drainage,

potential funding from Water Sense and ENERGYSTAR program; to implementing water cleaning

processes like ceramic filtration and even adopting Ocean Survey Vehicles for cleaning large water

bodies. Through this paper I aim to spread awareness about the topic and address the problem in a

mature and sophisticated way. I hope to do further research on this in the future and learn as much

as I can in order to save water and protect our mother Earth.


Committee: United Nations Development Program
Topic: Sustainability of Water and Biodiversity
THE R.E.M PLAN
Signatories: USA, China, Turkey, Uganda, Haiti, Yemen, Armenia, Korea, Samoa,

1. Recommends countries to follow the framework of REM, which stands for:

a. Research

b. Execution

c. Monitoring

2. Encourage implementation of programs such as Title 22 Groundwater monitoring program

and groundwater contamination prevention program, which entails:

a. Saunders pump and treat system:

Cleaning of contaminated water by extracting it and treating it through

carbon vessels, resin beds or multi-layered membrane system

b) Every 6 years create full biodiversity and water pollution analysis of most detrimental

industries, this can include but not limited too:

Mining

Manufacturing

Forestry

Textiles

3. Encourages countries to adopt governmental acts such as the

a) Clean Water Act (CWA) which provides for:

i) Basic structure for regulating pollutant discharges into the waters of the United

States.

ii) Gave Environmental Protection Agency the authority to implement pollution

control programs such as setting wastewater standards for industry.

iii) Funds the construction of sewage treatment plants under the construction grants

program.

iv) Recognizes the need for planning to address the critical problems posed by

nonpoint source pollution.


b) National Pollution Discharge Elimination System

i) Works in conjunction with the CWA to ensure that all industries receive a NPDES

permit

ii) To gain an NPDES permit companies would require an Environmental Impact

Assessment that would include a full scope of the impacts of the water use, the EIA would

look at four main points;

Screening: which determines if a proposed topic will have significant impacts

on the environment

Scoping: which determines the extent of the environmental issues at hand and

their proposed impacts

Preparing an environmental statement: After gathering the necessary

information of potential environmental impacts, a statement is required to

discuss possible pros or cons of such a project

Decision making: Respecting each nation's sovereignty, the decision making

process will be determined on a national level

4. Encourage the formation of lime, calcium silicate, carbonate neutralization sites to be

used for:

a. Acid mine drainage

b. Protection of clean water

c. Sustainability of the soil of that certain region

5. Emphasize on the use of new sewage treatment methods such as:

a) Activated sludge process

b) Aerobic Granulation

c) Secondary Clarifying

6. Encourage countries like the USA who have individual organizations with equipped

technology to:

a) Set up international campaigns funded by the particular nation that chooses to send

them globally such as (examples):

i) Water Sense Program


ii) ENERGYSTAR Program

iii) Alliance for Water Sustainability

c) Fund existing research facilities and develop plans for energy plants to aid the nations

situation, in relation to first being ratified to create these posts by the respective Governments.

7. Emphasize and strongly recommend the creation of a new UN agency which will be known

as the UN Agency of Scientific and Medical Research to:

a. Look into counter drug measures for PFAS

b. Encourage temporary and lenient limits which are economically sensible for

industrial emissions and effluents till preventative and detoxifying technologies are effective

and reliable; (ratified by the UN) based on:

i) country GDP,

ii) Human Development Index

iii) industry size

iv) size of the industry

b) Appoint an overseeing team for certain industries based on their size to:

i) Supervise over the various types of fluids conveyed by multi-piping system

thereby:

1. Overseeing that some of these fluids might be hazardous,

2. Keeping a check on the fact that there are various changes in the piping

system that are frequently made,

3. Monitoring the avoidance of cross-connections during the installation,

operation and maintenance of the water user's pipelines and equipment.

c) Create an Overseeing Optimization Plan with consultation from an EIA where:

a. The agency will collect samples (grab or 24-hour composite) representative of the

treated and detoxified wastewater and have the samples analyzed for:

(1) The inorganic chemicals except for nitrogen compounds;

(2) The radionuclide chemicals like xylene,

(3) Organic chemicals, which affect the purity of water,

(4) Metal ions like lead and copper,


(5) Brine

b) The agency will then submit reports from the collected and analyzed data to the UN and

those reports will be spoken about at regular FAO, UNDP and UNEP meetings of all nations

in order to keep a track of progress regarding sustainability along with projecting them on

online environmental forums for only countries part of these organizations.

c) If a particular industry does not follow the limits set on them for the amount of

emissions and effluents they can expel then the UN is recommended to abide by

international protocol and decide what actions will have to be taken.

8. Emphasizes firms and industries to adopt methods of changing their pipeline framework in

order to:

a) Limit effluent emissions by:

a. Air-gap separations

b. Double Check Valve Assembly Methods

c. Reduced Pressure Principle Backflow Prevention Devices

b) Mitigating the threat to diversity that such firms would propose.

9. Highly encourage countries where these water-cleaning implementations are taking place

and where water is deemed unsuitable to drink to set up:

a. Nanotechnology machines, which are simply low budget sand, based filters where

water could be sold at an extremely affordable price.

b. Ceramic filtration, which include clay pots and buckets.

c. Bamboo Charcoal filters

d. Life straws

e. Bone Char Filtration

f. Bicycle water purifiers

g. UV Sterilization methods

11. Emphasize on the establishment of a Hazard Ranking System, which deals with assigning

numerical factors that relate to risks based on conditions at the site which will be grouped into

three categories:
a. Likelihood that a site has released or is has potential to release hazardous substances

in the Environment

b. Characteristics of the waste

c. People or sensitive environments

12. Suggest that economically stable nations build Ocean Survey Vehicles (OSVs) such as the

i) USNS Bold and the ii) Akademik Fyodorov for research and monitoring of coasts,

suggested by the Hazard Ranking System (HRS)

13. Encourage all countries to invest in low budget process research and to implement on

processes like

a. Desalination

b. Chlorine Disinfection

c. Micro and Ultrafiltration

14. Emphasize that countries have counter measures for disposing water which is regarded

not drinkable after using certain technology by creating disposal wells for water which could

be contaminated with possible traces of brine.

15. Encourages countries to research into technologies like the Plasma-Pulse Technology

which deals with reducing PFAS levels in water by 67%

16. Affirms funding to the technologies, research and implementation strategies will come

from:

a. NGOs not only limited to:

1. Water for People

2. Conservation International

3. CERES

4. Doctors without Borders

5. Heifer International

6. Ocean Conservancy

7. Natural Resources Defense Council

8. World Wildlife Fund

9. World Resources Institute


10. The Nature Conservancy

b) The UNs organs such as:

1. UNESCO

2. UNEP

3. FAO

4. WHO

5. UNDEF

6. IMF Green Fund

c) Voluntary contributions from any countries

d) Private firms and industries

17. Urges medium to- large scale industries to practice Corporate Social Responsibility

(CSR) in order to preserve wildlife and habitat in methods such as but not limited to:

1. Wildlife conservation sanctuaries

2. Nature trails

3. Eco-Tourism related ventures

18. Strongly recommends countries to implement Eco Tourism related programs in their own

respective fields of economic comfort such as the

i) Palawan and

ii) Boracay wildlife preservation and natural habitat centers in the Philippines.