21 Mar World Water Day 2023 – Accelerating Change
2023 – Written by: Kate Jolliffe, Technical Project Assistant (Co-op Student)
Lystek’s Contribution to Accelerating Change
This year we celebrate World Water Day with increased urgency. The United Nations’ (UN) have sounded the alarm that progress on goals for water and sanitation are not progressing rapidly enough. In fact, efforts must quadruple if their Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: Ensuring Access to Water and Sanitation for All is to be met by 20301. In response to this call for action, the 2023 theme for World Water Day is “Accelerating Change”2. To cultivate accountability, the UN is hosting a water conference for the first time in 50 years with the intention of creating a Water Action Agenda to encourage utilization of sustainable water management technology3.
Water is an essential resource and issues related to water access and management seep into many aspects of daily life. The relationship between water, the environment, and humans makes finding innovative and holistic solutions to water related issues important, not only for SDG 6, but for all UN Sustainability Goals.
At Lystek® we understand the value and importance of water to the environment and society. Inspired by the natural world’s ability to cycle water and nutrients to sustain a balanced environment, our circular economy approach to resource recovery brings this sustainable model into modern systems. At each step of the Lystek process we are mindful of our impact on water, striving to use our technology to accelerate change.
Here are some ways Lystek is contributing to the UN SDG 6:
1. Diverting Biosolids from Landfills
Lystek’s work aligns with target 6.3 to “improve water quality by reducing pollution”1. When biosolids are not beneficially reused, they are often disposed of in landfills and contribute to the production of leachate (water that has been impacted by coming in contact with waste materials). Leachate can then enter surrounding water systems, introducing organic pollutants and other contaminates to our water sources. Lystek technology diverts biosolids and organic matter from landfills, extending the life of landfills and ensuring these valuable materials are converted to products that make a positive impact.
2.Reducing Dependence on Traditional Fertilizers
Lystek supports target 6.6, to “protect and restore water-related ecosystems”1 by limiting exposure of organic pollutants to surrounding environments. High concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus cause eutrophication of freshwater, leading to over production of algae which contaminates drinking water sources and creates hostile environments for local wildlife. These compounds often enter water systems through runoff of fertilizers. LysteGro® replaces traditional fertilizers and significantly reduces the risk of runoff, and thus eutrophication, through improved absorption and subsurface injection of the product. By offering this alternative, Lystek supports the protection of water related ecosystems from negative environmental impacts associated with extraction, production, and use of traditional fertilizers.
3. Improving Soil Health
Target 6.4 of the UN’s SDG is to “substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors”1. Soil health is often overlooked when discussing water issues, however, it plays an important role in achieving target 6.4 by promoting sustainable water usage and protecting waterways. Application of LysteGro improves soil health through the addition of organic matter resulting in improved water retention and reduced erosion. When soil has better absorption capabilities, farmers have the opportunity to conserve water as less moisture is lost from evaporation and more water is taken in during natural rainfall, increasing the crop’s water-use efficiency.
4. Supporting Wastewater Treatment Plants
The SDG 6.3 target to reduce pollution of waterways by “substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse [of water] globally” 1. Lystek supports and strengthens wastewater management processes by providing technology to manage biosolids and offering solutions to enhance biological nutrient removal (BNR). To safely recycle water from Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs), nitrogen and phosphorus must be removed from the effluent to avoid eutrophication of the surrounding water systems. A supplemental carbon source, such as LysteCarb®, ensures reliable outcomes from the BNR process should the facility not have sufficient organic carbon in their incoming wastewater. The products and services Lystek offers encourage sustainable recovery of essential resources, supporting both WWTP and the United Nation’s goals.
Water issues affect everyone and solutions must be a collective effort. Today is the perfect day to reflect on how you and your community are accelerating change. Happy World Water Day from Lystek!
1: Water and Sanitation – United Nations Sustainable Development
2: World Water Day | World Water Day 2023
3: Water Action Agenda | Department of Economic and Social Affairs (un.org)