Environmental Engineering Reference
In-Depth Information
and determines the adoptability to the system in terms of capacities (technologies),
affordability (
(finance), awareness (quality, health, etc.), attitudes (cultural), etc.
The fourth phase represents the externalities of/or to the system that are closely
linked and surrounding the main system. The sustainability dimension of LCCA
lies in capturing and assessing these externalities. Surrounding systems interact and
are critical for the functioning of the core system. Water, energy and land are
critical to any production system. While they are often part of the factors of pro-
duction and included in the costs, these systems also are affected in the production
process. Such costs or bene
ts need to be taken into account. Agriculture pro-
duction or farming systems (including forestry, livestock, etc.) determine not only
the demand for the products or services (fertilizer, pesticides, water, etc.) but also
are affected in the process (land degradation, chemical use, etc.). These processes
would affect the microenvironment in the case of waste or effluent discharge and
affect livelihoods positively, as well as negatively. Other important factors like
climate and policy changes add the risk and uncertainty dimension to the whole
process. These need to be taken into account while assessing the costs.
This framework can be articulated in the context of water and sanitation that are
mostly dependent on scarce groundwater resources in developing countries.
Groundwater is exploited to supply drinking water in rural and urban areas. These
resources are neither protected from over exploitation nor supported through
replenishing mechanisms (like percolation tanks). There are competing demands for
water from agriculture, industry and other livelihoods. In most cases, there are no
policies to address these issues. This is part of the pre-production phase, where one
has to include the costs of not only identifying and locating the resource but also
include costs of planning and design for their sustainable use in the end. During the
production phase, different technologies are used to exploit, treat and distribute the
water. Here identifying appropriate technologies that provide optimum bene
ts are
necessary for
financial sustainability of the system. Besides, managing the infra-
structure is critical for maintaining the life of the infrastructure and sustaining
services. Energy sector plays a critical role at this phase. During the post-production
phase, distribution and use are critical for social sustainability in terms of attaining
equity in the distribution of services. Here, the institutional and governance aspects
play an important role in ensuring social sustainability. Reuse, recycling, treatment
and disposal are important for environmental sustainability. Wastewater generated
from WASH services in the urban areas is used for irrigating crops in the peri-urban
areas. While the use of wastewater provides livelihoods and economic bene
ts to
communities, it also results in negative impacts like water quality deterioration,
health impacts, human as well as livestock, etc. (Reddy and Kurian 2010 ). Apart
from these externalities, the linkages between groundwater and energy also result in
externalities such as resource degradation. These externalities can be internalized
with judicious planning. The problems of degradation further aggravate in the
context of climate variability or policy distortions. Policies like free power would
increase the risk of degradation.
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