The water in your tap, something you can take for granted. At least that is what we thought, until all of a sudden we experienced a fresh water scarcity in many places during the summer of 2016. Will this be the future? Is there anything we can do?
Questions like these will be discussed at the conference "Eco-Tech's 20-year jubilee" on November 21–23. On these dates, researchers from all over the world will gather, together with the trade and industry sector as well as the public sector, at Brofästet in Kalmar to discuss water scarcity, how our water resources are being polluted and what we can do about it. Since the start in 1997, the driving force behind Eco-Tech has been William Hogland, professor in environmental engineering and ecotechnology at Linnaeus University.
"The Eco-Tech conference is immensely important – the fact that we are a number of actors and countries working together to come up with solutions. The way in which we build our cities, shape our agriculture, and how we handle our waste are all things that have a direct impact on the quality of our freshwater. In order to accomplish real change, it is crucial that a large number of actors with different backgrounds contribute to this change, and also that you as a private individual take your responsibility and contribute", William Hogland explains.
The problem is not only water scarcity, but primarily the scarcity of clean water. Some countries experience flooding but still have no access to clean water in their taps. Therefore, fresh water scarcity is tightly linked with other environmental issues. At the conference, focus will be on the handling of waste.
A number of studies with regional links will be presented – for instance, the handling of waste from glassworks and the upcoming decontamination of Malmfjärden in Kalmar, where, for instance, the phosphor is to be recycled. A strategic plan is in place for how to handle the impact of sewage water on Kalmar Strait and how the future climate affects the water situation in Sweden as well as on a global level.
There are also technologies for how to handle sewage water, how to use waste as a source of energy and for the handling of garbage and advanced recycling of different types of waste. The Kalmar model for waste management deals with the whole chain from waste to biogas, and is part of the region's ambition to ultimately become fossil-free.
Two important factors in everyday life are to not throw toxic or environmentally harmful things in your toilet and to not be wasteful with water.