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First Caribbean Waste-to-Energy (WtE) Technology Expo and Conference

How Chicago Turns
Sewage Into Power

Chicago’s wastewater authority plans to slash
its energy bill by using bacteria to convert
sewage into natural gas. There are a lot of
things in the 1.2 billion gallons that pour through
the world’s largest water-treatment plant every
day: grime swept off Chicago sidewalks, sewage
scoured from thousands of miles of pipes—and
enough energy to cut an annual $50 million
electricity bill to zero by 2023.




Resilience Building in Island States

The ability of small island states to become less vulnerable and more capable to respond and recover from the disruptions and
destruction associated with increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, including more ferocious and frequent hydro-meteorological
events, severe impacts from sea-level rise, and increasing ocean temperature and acidity, by development and efficient use of the
natural resource endowment. The ability to respond and recover is linked to national capacity which determines the ability to extract
and efficiently utilize energy, food and water from the natural resource base.

“Energy Services from Waste: The Development of a Regional Integrated Organic Waste Management Sector”

Negative Impact of Unsustainable Waste Management Systems

Poor waste management negatively impacts on critical ecosystems services – clean water supply, food availability and security, tourism product quality as well as public health, adversely affecting the socio-economic conditions of the population. Waste, by virtue of its continuous generation by an increasing population, represents a resource that is vastly underutilized across the region, manifested by its lack of management.

The Caribbean, as a result of increasing difficulties with freshwater availability resulting from under-investment in certain areas and greater variations in rainfall regime, is realizing that water is becoming a major future challenge to sustainable development and that the future cost of water will be greater than the present. This situation is not unique. According to the United Nations (UN) World Water Assessment Programme[1], the world could suffer a 40 percent shortfall in water in just 15 years, unless countries dramatically change their use of the resource. Many underground water reserves are already running low, while rainfall patterns are predicted to become more erratic with climate change. As the world’s population grows to an expected nine (9) billion by 2050, more groundwater will be needed for farming, industry and personal consumption. The report predicts global water demand will increase 55 percent by 2050, while reserves dwindle. If current usage trends don’t change, the world will have only 60 percent of the water it needs in 2030.

It is therefore critical that Caribbean island states, particularly those that are already water-stressed, take action so existing freshwater sources can be protected and where possible enhanced. The quality of ground water – the major source of freshwater – is threatened by contamination from waste. Across the region, effluent waste from agro-industries, sewage facilities, breweries, abattoirs, distilleries, along with soakaway systems, represents the major threat to ground and surface water resources.

[1] WWAP (United Nations World Water Assessment Programme). 2015. The United Nations World Water Development Report 2015: Water for a Sustainable World. Paris, UNESCO.

Jointly Organized By

Supporting Partners