Immediate vs Long-Term Solutions

The range of solutions to address the phenomenon of ocean wastewater pollution is as diverse as the places it occurs. Every place will have its own unique environmental conditions (e.g., geology, hydrology, habitat types) and socioeconomic situation (e.g., population density, cultural practice, demographics). These factors will help define the best long-term solutions, that are both sustainable for the communities that employ them, and reduce the negative impacts on human and environmental health. The perfect wastewater treatment solution does not yet exist. There is no silver bullet or prescription for every place. However, there are many different types of solutions, each with their own benefits, costs, and complexities.

It has been said in one form or another by famous philosophers that ‘one should not let perfect be the enemy of good’. This is certainly the case when it comes to wastewater treatment. Some kind of treatment is better than no treatment. So while the Knowledge Hub aims to provide a range of treatment technologies and solutions to consider that are ocean friendly, there are always limitations to what can be done at any point in time. It is more important to address the immediate need of even the most basic treatment, than to spend years trying to find the perfect solution. Treatment and pollution reduction can always be improved, but it is important to start somewhere, and work your way toward the longer-term goal of sustainable solutions.