New York City’s portable and wastewater management system has been around for several years. The average person in New York takes water for granted and most people do not trust the waters that comes from their faucet even though New York State has one of the cleanest and safest water in the country. Moreover, the water that we use comes far away from the city and much of this water must be moved from one point to another using a considerable amount of power. As the population and economic growth continue, the demand for water and energy is growing exponentially. According to the Energy Information Administration, New York is the fifth largest state consumer of petroleum. More than one-third of the power sources used on the infrastructures in places, such as the treatment and transport system, is generated with the burning of fossil fuels. These kind of fuels are from raw materials extracted from beneath the earth such as oil, natural gas, and coal. Being a strong emitter of the greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and representing more than 70% of power sources in the world, the burning of fossil fuels is one of the main causes of climate change. If we were to convert this energy process using solely renewable means, it would tremendously reduce the effect of carbon dioxide in the environment and create a healthy ecosystem with a balanced biodiversity given the damage greenhouse gases are capable of doing. Essentially, climate change could be defined as a noticeable change in climate over a long period. Global warming, as one of the consequences of climate change, is derived from our reckless and extensive use of energy obtained from the burning of fossil fuels.
We should not only be focused on the smart generation of electricity but also, put an emphasis on institutional sustainability as to their capacity to develop self-efficiency when it comes to portable and wastewater management system. Hence, my aim is to underline the importance of establishing a close relationship between portable and wastewater management and climate change to bring about a new approach in managing this system. If we take the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant facility based in Brooklyn as a case study, we could say that despite the fact that this institution is trying to respect and work within the boundaries of New York state’s renewable energy goal for 2030, they are still far behind when it comes to self-efficiency and sustainability. We must remind everyone that according to New York’s Clean Energy Standards, 50% of in-state electricity generation must be from renewable sources by 2030. However, it is important that we give credit to this institution for heading in the right direction with respect to energy savings and their sustainable energy policies by recapturing the excess methane gas produced from treating the wastewater and composting wasted food. Also, their energy system is disconnected from the grid system during the summer to help prevent blackouts in the city. Furthermore, this institution is at the forefront of the fight toward a cleaner, greener, and healthier New York as to their efforts and contribution to adapt and mitigate climate change. The facility has also complied with the green infrastructure project in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Also, the city of New York along with the DEP has been implementing the OneNYC Energy initiative to reduce energy use and maximize performance at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
It would be very encouraging if all the infrastructures related to portable and wastewater management system in New York were powered solely with renewable sources as they work to attain self-sufficiency. This would be a great benefit for the environment and a step closer toward New York’s renewable energy and sustainability goals for 2030.