An operational framework to quantify the sustainability of water resource recovery facilities

M. Faragò*, Morten Rebsdorf, A. Damgaard, M. Rygaard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review

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Typically, wastewater utilities use economic analyses to evaluate new investments. However, recently there has been the need to include other criteria such as environmental, technical and societal criteria. Such a decision support tool is not least relevant in the transition from conventional wastewater treatment plants to water resource recovery facilities, having focus on recovering energy, nutrients etc. Together with universities and wastewater utilities, we developed a sustainability framework to quantify environmental, societal and technical impacts along with economic analyses. We identified 22 criteria and associated quantitative and semi-quantitative indicators. We demonstrated the framework through real cases within wastewater treatment. Results indicated that this framework can both support simple decisions dealing with material choices and high-level decision making such as the implementation of novel technologies for carbon and energy recovery. The framework helped utilities prioritize options that reduce environmental impacts and increase technical and societal value rather than the cheapest solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2022
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventSingapore International Water Week 2022 - Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 17 Apr 202221 Apr 2022


ConferenceSingapore International Water Week 2022
LocationSands Expo & Convention Centre, Marina Bay Sands


  • Decision support
  • Novel resource recovery technologies
  • Sustainability tool
  • Wastewater treatment


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