Wastewater Management to Environmental Materials Management

  • Musarrat Parween
  • AL. Ramanathan
Living reference work entry


Drinking water and sanitation has been recognized as the prioritized area of global development, but this sector is also coupled with enormous loads of wastewater generation. The challenges associated with wastewater management thus seem to be ever growing. Wastewater management is a key player in achieving future world water security, and the issues concerning wastewater and water quality have deep rooted connections with various other issues but not limited to the water, food, and energy-nexus. Inadequate/inefficient wastewater management can pose severe threats to ecosystems, human health, and economic activities too.

In this context, the current wastewater management scenario in the world has been elaborated in order to identify and understand the shortcomings of this sector. The reasons that have deprived most of the cities of adequate wastewater management are numerous such as aging, absence or inadequacy of sewage infrastructure, lack of wastewater disposal and treatment facilities, technological failure, ineffective operation, lack of maintenance, and so on.

Wastewater management not only needs immediate attention on a priority basis but should also be considered as merely a part of an integrated, full life cycle-based and ecosystem-based management system that encompasses all the dimensions of sustainable development. This calls for a shift from an isolated “wastewater management” to the “materials management” approach.

This approach emphasizes on the importance of the association between demands/consumption patterns and wastewater generation, and also accentuates on waste reduction throughout the production process. Environmental Materials Management (EMM) is largely being recognized as basically a policy approach which has a significant potential to attain green growth. EMM would be largely beneficial for the economy, environment, and employment related perspectives. Its policy principles will lead to the preservation of natural resources and/or capital, exercise of policy instruments, life cycle outlook, and multistakeholder approach.


Water security Water quality Life -cycle Ecosystem Integrated approach Materials management Wastewater Surface water Ground water Agriculture Irrigation Industry Domestic sewage Municipal wastewater Pollution Human health Health risk Food security Infrastructure Modern technology Water management Environmental management Wastewater management Ecosystem-based management Green growth Natural resources Efficient use Wastewater reuse Recycle Recovery Conservation Policy Economy Employment Multidimensional approach Multistakeholder approach Multisectoral perspectives All inclusive Participatory approach Community empowerment Institutional integrity 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Musarrat Parween
    • 1
  • AL. Ramanathan
    • 2
  1. 1.Water ProgrammeNational Institute of Advanced StudiesBangaloreIndia
  2. 2.School of Environmental SciencesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Chaudhery Mustansar Hussain
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Environmental SciencesNew Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewarkUSA

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