What’s been going on in our oceans? A very strange phenomenon that only happens in horror movies had been taking place on the Gansbaai beaches in South Africa. The fourth great white shark was found washed up dead along the coastline of South Africa with its liver “precisely” removed back in May 2017. In the [ ]
Climate change is the most alarming and threatening issue in the present age.it is the biggest challenge we are facing right now. Many publishers observed that due to the climate change several factors are changed in the surrounding environment e.g.:
- Rain fall pattern
- Seasonal changes
These changes in the environmental conditions cause different types of impacts on environment e.g.
- Extreme Events
- Rise in Temperature
- Sea level Rise
- Food insecurity
- Loss of biodiversity
- Water insecurity
- Ocean acidification
- Coastal flooding
- Health Risks
Sustainable development is the concept that ensures balanced relations between its three pillars, economy, society and environment. It is the type of progress that fulfills the needs and requirements of the present generation without overlooking the needs of the future generations
Link between Sustainable Development and Climate Change effects:
If we look into history, the policies and science has always influenced the concepts about development. The continues degradation of environmental quality, the boosted population and increased rate of consumption of natural resources, usages of energy, and other living standards has motivated a lot of centuries to formulate their own legal frameworks as follows:
- Development Water and air quality standards
- Hazardous Waste Management
- Regulatory changes
- Natural resource efficiency
To beat climate change at the global level there were different laws, plans, policies were formulated e.g
- Agenda 21
- Rio summit
The impact of climate changes is adverse and if they are responded with ill design it could even derail the current policies on sustainable development goals and may effects goals already have been achieved. They climate change effects a lot of sectors e.g. agriculture, forestry, energy, coastal areas, and may cause challenges for the governance. For example, climate change effects on environmental resources and systems can paralyses the sustainable development of the natural system. The impacts of climate change can be seen in sustainable development in all regions of the world but the countries/regions with low adaptiveness suffer the most. Different publication reveals that climate change will make the unsustainable and unjust growth of society and make it more vulnerable to environmental degradation.
The prominent effects of climate change relevant to sustainable development are as follows:
- Ecosystem services losses
- Challenges in land management
- Challenges in water management
- Human health effects
- Prices increase in the food markets
- Increased Risks of flooding
- Food insecurity
- Risks to infrastructure due to extreme events
- Biodiversity losses
Globally the above mentioned risks vary depending on the scale of climate change and local social and economic variances. Some ecosystems are temperature sensitive, even if there is a little change in the global mean temperature, they got effected heavily. Many of the climate change responses and sustainable development systems often overlap and the sustainable development systems are better designed and planed so, they are preferred.
Climate Change Mitigation, Adaptation and Sustainable development
As the climate change is among the most prominent issues of mankind in 21st century the world has agreed to tackle it for the sustainable development. It is very important to understand the past experiences and current innovation efforts so that we can take effective and efficient action to tackle this issue. It can be addressed through mitigation strategies as well as by improving the ways by which societal and economic systems work to adopt to the climate change effects.
For this purpose, IPCC has developed 17 Sustainable development goals that are universal and have a common vision of progressing the world towards a safer and sustainable environment for the whole mankind.
The mitigation and adaptation measures of climate change can produce oppurtunieties for the sustainable development if they are planned and executed properly. The strategy for climate change mitigation and sustainable development are highly interactive. The climate change adaption and mitigation measures both have the likely strong chance of contribution to the sustainable development as well as the sustainable development measures and choices have possibility of contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation. These action/measures may trade off with each other during the implementations
Climate Change and Sustainable Development in Pakistan
Pakistan is Specially susceptible to climate change because it has a hot climate; it is located in a geographical area where the increase in temperature is expected to be higher than the world average Their rivers are fed mainly by Hindu Kush-Karakoram glaciers of the Himalayas, which retreat quickly due to global warming; its economy is largely agricultural and, therefore, very sensitive to climate; and because the country has an increasing risk of varying the rain, causing large floods and long droughts. All these factors are influenced by water safety, flood safety and the security of the country’s energy supply. To compound these problems, the coastal areas and the Indus Delta region are expected to face increased risk due to sea level rise, coastal erosion, seawater intrusion and flooding. Increase of the cyclone effect in the sea. The delta region is influenced not only by local climatic conditions, but also by meteorological actions due to the climatic conditions of the Indus and the seas in the south.
Adaptation has already begun to address vulnerabilities related to climate change in humans health, coastal areas, infrastructure and food security. Resilience to most Asian areas on a scale change is very bad. Extending irrigation is difficult and costly in many countries. In Asia developing countries, climate change is only one of the problematic problems, such as hunger, water and pollution, and energy. Available resources adaptation to the climate is limited. Adaptation activities are closely related to development, which should be taken into account in the assessment of adaptation options. The challenge for Pakistan is to find opportunities for sustainable development with its strategies which make climate-sensitive areas flexible for climate change.
- Natural resources efficiency
- R&D for renewable resource development
- Development of effective
- Reducing the usage of fossil fuels
- Reducing environmental degradation
Further read on what else a person can do to help save environment
ETP treats the waste materials into neutralized molecule or reduces the harmful ingredients. Industrial wastewater treatment covers the mechanisms and processes used to treat waters that have been contaminated in some way by anthropogenic industrial or commercial activities prior to its release into the environment or its re-use.
In textile mills the waste water effluent contains:
- Organic matter
- Inorganic matter
- Dissolved solids
- Suspended solids
- Chemicals & Auxiliaries
- Metal toxicants
They directly or indirectly effect the colour, alkalinity, pH, hardness, BOD, COD values of water.
What are the sources of waste water in Textile mills?
The main sources of waste water from textile process are:
Why treat waste water?
Waste water released from textile processing units is treated in effluent treatment plants due to several reasons as follows:
- Basic aim is Environmental protection
- Legal requirement
- Customers requirement
- Corporate social responsibility
- Societal requirement
- Maintenance of clean water
- Conservation and protection of water for industrial and agricultural uses
Categories of Effluent Treatment Plant Processes
There are three (3) Categories by nature of treatment being used in ETP as follows:
By degree of treatment:
There are 4 main types of treatment in ETP by degree of treatment as follows:
- Preliminary treatment
- Primary treatment
- Secondary treatment
- Tertiary/advanced treatment
Categories of treatment in Degree of treatment does have physical, chemical, biological processes in them.
- Preliminary treatment is mostly physical treatment
- Primary treatment may contain both physical and biological treatment
- Secondary treatment also known as biological treatment
- Tertiary treatment contains both chemical and biological processes
Above mentioned treatment processes further contain below mentioned processes in table
|Preliminary Treatment||Primary Treatment|
|Secondary Treatment||Tertiary Treatment|
|Activated Sludge Process|
Activated carbon filters
Preliminary treatment get rid of overweight solids and materials that can be easily collected from the effluent and can harm or choke the pumps and skimmers of primary treatment clarifiers. These are in-organic materials and insoluble organic pollutants (i.e. huge floating and suspended solid material, gravel, oil & grease) which are inert and cause problems to further chemical and biological treatments. The presence and sequence of preliminary treatment units totally depend on the characteristics of effluent that is to be treated. All preliminary treatment consists of physical separation techniques by controlling flow rate of effluent. The physical separation techniques are as follows:
The influent sewage water is screened to remove all large objects like fabric parts, plastic packets, or any other container etc. According to size of the solid particles to be removed there are further three main types of screens
- Bar Screens
- Course Screens
- Fine Screens
The purpose of a scraper is to remove solids, produce a cleaner effluent and concentrate solids. Concentration of solids removed from the wastewater reduces the volume of sludge for dewatering and/or disposal.
Grit chambers are long narrow tanks that are designed to slow down the flow so that solids particles will settle out of the water. When waste flows into the grit chamber, particles settle down to the bottom of the chamber based on their size, their specific gravity, and the speed of roll in the tank
A skimming tank is a chamber designed so that floating matter rises and remains on surface of the wastewater until removed, while the liquid flows continuously through outlet or partition below the water lines. Removes oils, greases, etc.
In this tank air is used to remove the solid particles and oil and greasy materials.
In Primary treatment, sedimentation process is used for most of the solids that can be settled are physically separated or removed from the wastewater. When some chemicals are used in primary sedimentation tanks, some of the mixture of solids(colloidal) are also eliminated form waste water.
The process of primary treatment is used to reduce the pace of the wastewater necessarily to permit solids to settle and floatable material to surface. That’s why, primary devices may contain settling tanks, clarifiers or sedimentation tanks. Because of variations in design, operation, and application, settling tanks can be divided into following groups:
In this tank as name presents, the solid particles are allowed to settle down based on gravity. This process does take some time. This process is also used to slow down the speed of the waste water flow.
A flocculent (chemical substance) is added in waste water to increase the settling speed. Small particle based on charge combine together and create large particles known as flocs and settle down based on gravity.
The function of equalization tanks is not only to act as holding tanks to help balance flow in wastewater treatment processes, but to also act as an excellent holding zones for other liquids, agents and chemicals added in the wastewater treatment systems. Aeration might be required to maintain the waste water in original phase during holding time.
The most critical stage in most of the industrial waste water treatment processes is the process of Neutralization. It is critical to neutralize the waste water before going to biological process otherwise it could kill the bacteria or plants
Secondary Treatment/Biological Treatment:
Secondary treatment process depends significantly on the aerobic organisms which biochemically degrade the organic materials to inorganic or stable organic solids. It is similar to the recovery zone in the self-purification of a stream.
Secondary treatment removes dissolved and suspended biological matter. This is typically performed by indigenous, water-borne micro-organisms in a managed habitat. This process may require a separation process to remove the micro-organisms from the treated water prior to discharge or tertiary treatment.
Activated Sludge Process:
It is a type of wastewater treatment process for treating wastewater using aeration and a biological floc composed of bacteria and protozoa. The method of Activated-sludge, is a process in which sludge, the stored, bacteria-rich collections of settling tanks and basins, is spread on the incoming waste water and the combination is stirred for numerous hours in the presence of appropriate air supply.
Organic matter from wastewater is removed by using trickling filters. The TF is an aerobic treatment system that utilizes microorganisms attached to a medium to remove organic matter from wastewater.
A bed of solid media on the surface of which bacteria are attached is trickling filer. Wastewater is irrigated on the solid media. It is also known as biological filter to make it clear that its not a mechanical process.
The aerated lagoon (or aerated pool) could be simply effluent treatment system consisting of a pond with artificial aeration to endorse the biological oxidation of wastewaters. The Aeration process increases the efficiency of treatment process, that can reduce energy costs in some cases. Lagoons with aeration system needs less land area and shorter detention times.
Large cement tanks having 3-5 m depth. Effluent coming from Primary Treatment is stored in these tanks for the duration of 2-6 days which is then aerated mechanically. After aeration for 2-6 days, a healthy sludge in flocculent form is made, which performs the oxidation of organic matter. It can removes upto 90% of BOD.
An oxidation pond is a large shallow pond. Stabilization of organic matter is brought out by bacteria. Oxygen is required for this purpose of metabolism and is supplied by algae. The algae utilizes the carbon dioxide released by bacteria for photosynthesis.
For effective treatment:
- Maximum sunlight penetration (for photosynthesis),
- Wind action for mixing
- Neutral Aeration
Tertiary treatment is the final treatment, meant for ‘polishing’ the effluent and removal of pollutants not removed in previous treatment processes. These pollutants may include soluble inorganic compounds such as phosphorous or nitrogen which may support algae growth in receiving waters. Tertiary treatment also removes organic materials that contribute to color, taste, odor, bacteria, viruses, BOD, COD, or other soluble minerals that can interfere with ultimate re-use of the wastewater. Preferred when treated water is need to be reuse or discharge is into the ecosystem.
It produces high quality effluent which can be reuse further for commercial and industrial applications. Treated water can be reuse for the irrigation of a golf course, green way or park, construction work, industrial process, etc. If the water is satisfactorily clean then it can also be used for recharge of groundwater. Sometimes, the treated water is disinfected by chemicals or physically depending on the location of discharge.
The Sand Filters are specifically designed to remove additional Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Suspended Solids (SS) from sewage and Effluent treatment plants. This low cost and low maintenance sand filter tertiary treatment technique is an ideal addition for new and existing (permanent or temporary) process units. Sand filters have the capacity to produce high-quality water without even using chemicals additives. Passing flocculated water through a rapid gravity sand filter strains out the floc and the particles trapped within it, reducing numbers of bacteria and removing most of the solids. Sand of varying grades is used as the medium for the filters
Activated Carbon Filters
It is used in treatments plants to remove micropollutants or difficult contaminants from industrial effluents. Carbon filtering is a method of filtering that utilizes a bed of activated carbon to remove pollutants and impurities, using chemical absorption. Each particle/granule of carbon provides a large surface area/pore structure, allowing contaminants the maximum possible exposure to the active sites within the filter media.
The killing or removal of pathogenic microorganisms or their deactivation is known as water disinfection. Destruction or deactivation of microorganisms results in closure of their reproduction and growth. Physical or chemicals disinfectants are means through which disinfection can be achieved.
- Chlorine dioxide
- Several acids and bases etc.
Ultraviolet light (UV)
- Electronic radiation
- Gamma rays
The exchange of irons between an electrolyte solution, and a complex or between two electrodes is called ion exchange.
The term ion exchange is significantly used in case of purification process, decontamination, or separation of aqueous and other solutions that contain ions with the use of solid or mineral ion exchangers.
Through this process it is possible to regenerate resins. It has low initial cost. Ion exchange method is extensively used to remove hardness, iron and magnesium salts. But is does not removes bacteria effectively.
This process is most commonly used to recover H2SO4 , Cu, Pb, Hg, Cr, Ni, and also the removal of cyanides after recovery of Cr. from waste water Majorly used for recovery of Cr, Ni, Phosphate and H2SO4, Cu, Pb, Hg and removal of cyanides from wastewater after Cr recovery.
Graduates with Majors in Environmental Studies either its environmental Sciences or Environmental Engineering study a variety of tops during their studies enabling them to choose from a multiple options of professions. During studies, environmental studies graduates are gain complex skills in biology, chemistry, geology, physics, engineering, so that they can solve problems through interpretation of research. During working on environmental issues your creativity will be tapped as you design environmental research models.
Ultimately the career of a person depends on the interests, skills and values that they can bring and for environmental studies graduates passion for sustainability, nature conservation, ecology, global warming, climate change, water, air and ocean pollution etc. will be helpful.
Below are some careers where environmental studies graduates can work
Environmental Management Representative:
All kinds of organization (manufacturing industries, construction companies etc.) hire environmentalist to represent them at all level. Environmentalist have to
- Develop Environmental Policy for the Organization
- Develop and manage Environmental Management System
- Keep track of all environmental issues
- Manage and reduce environmental impact organizations activities or services
- Guide management on all environmental topic
- Train the work force
- Continuously improve the Environmental performance of organization
The title of job/designation may vary depending on organizations, it could be:
- Environmental Management Representative (EMR)
- Environmental Manager
To know, where to start on Environmental Conservation, Check out : What can you do as an individual to save environment
As Environmental Consultant you can either work as a freelancer or in some environmental consulting firm.an Environmental Consultant should have basic awareness of all environmental issues in all sectors. Service of Environmental Consultants are mostly acquired when projects are in their initial planning stages. As Environmental Consultant you are supposed to:
- Help organization obtain Environmental Approvals/NOCs
- Conduct environmental assessment that can help organizations to mitigation not only current but also future impact on soil, water, air, wild life in the area.
- Identify area alternatives for project if a project has some serious issues in proposed area
In this job Environmentalist can discover/improve their research, writing and presentation skills.
As compliance officer, environmentalist have to take care of all legal/standard requirement that an organization have to fulfill. As Compliance officer, you will be looking after:
- Ensure that all legal requirements are being met
- Ensure that all customer requirements are being met
- Develop internal environmental policies or standard
To further understand Compliance requirements checkout: What is compliance?
As an auditor you will have to conduct audit of whatever you are assigned to do so (depend of audit scope).
Ethical Trade Executive
Here you are supposed to conduct audits based on Ethical Trade initiative requirements.
Conducts audit of:
- ISO standards
- Customer standards
- Legal requirements
- Third party standards
As environmental studies graduates gain skills, so they can serve as educator as well. with daily facing Environmental issues, it has become necessary to awareness about environmental issues and importance of environmental conservation. Initially environmental studies was a subject at university level but now it has become part of college and school level education as well.
So to teach these subject, subject specialists are required and here environmentalists can do their part.
To be an environmental lawyer, one has to have degree in Environmental law. As environmental lawyer, you will focus on cases based on Environmental issues. Here you will have to do research and present scientific evidence. You can also work with government to develop environmental policies and plans.
As sustainability coordinator you will be assessing the impact of organization and provide remediation measures. You will also participate in organizations planning process. You will prepare a sustainability report and communicate it at different levels. You will develop proposal with cost benefit analysis for environment conservation.
Environment, Health and Safety coordinator:
In this position you will be working to ensure that work environment is safe and healthy for the workers. You will be
- Conducting risk assessments
- Planning control measures
- Training workers on EHS
Your post might vary from organization to organization e.g. EHS/SHE/HSE office/manager/ director etc.
Except all of above, environmentalist can also work on below jobs;
- Remediation Office
- Environmental Engineer
- Green Building Engineer
- Water specialist
- Green Energy Specialist
- ETP (Effluent Treatment Plant) operator/manager
- Monitor officer
- Fund raiser for NGO
- Communication officer
- Natural resource conservation officer
- Recycling specialist
- Waste management officer
- Scientist (water/air quality)
- Supply chain analyst
- Standard Analyst
- Environmental Technician
- Restoration Manager
- Occupational health and safety specialist
- Environmental Journalist
Some of these jobs might require extra degrees, courses or certifications. E.g. to an ISO auditor one will have to be ISO certified (ISO 14001 EMS, 45001 OHS MS, ISO 50001 EnMS).