Sustain. Environ. Res., 23(2), 69-78 (2013)
Seyed Mohammad Kazem Sadr, Tulin Onder, Devendra Saroj and Sabeha Ouki
Membrane processes, multi-criteria analysis, technology selection, wastewater treatment, water reuse
The problem of fresh water scarcity is becoming a global issue, due to rapid urbanisation, population growth, water pollution, climate change and compounded effects. The incorporation of water reuse in upcoming urban water systems will not only satisfy a large part of water demand but also create a situation where wastewater treatment will be essential due to accountability towards the end users of water reuse. There are various technical and non-technical challenges towards the conceptualisation and materialisation of water reuse for a sustainable urban water system. The selection of appropriate technologies for a specific urban settlement is one of the key challenges. A plethora of existing technologies, such as membrane assisted technologies, for wastewater treatment and reuse may pose difficulty in decision making. Decision makers, such as water authorities and industries, often come across a lot of information and facts for a variety of technologies and reuse concepts. A systematic analysis of available technologies and options is necessary in order to increase the chances of success in wastewater reuse projects. Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) is a decision making method for systematic appraisal of wastewater reuse technologies. In this research the MCA has been carried out for the ranking of candidate technologies, after incorporating all the factors in terms of numerical values. Eight membrane assisted technologies have been short-listed due to their suitability under considered water reuse scenarios. Subsequently, most relevant technology selection criteria have been assessed. The MCA based ranking of candidate technologies provides a relative indication of the suitability of various membrane assisted water reuse technologies. It has been concluded that a systematic and rigorous analysis of candidate technologies can help decision makers to compare various available technological options and select the best available option for a sustainable water reuse concept.