Thinking on the energy aspects of water is undergoing a small revolution, especially in relation to used water. A need to reduce carbon emissions in particular is increasingly driving efforts to introduce more efficient pumping and aeration, for example. The revolution goes wider than this. There is a long history of using digestion in post-use treatment to produce biogas. This approach in particular is being taken to new levels and the Netherlands is leading the way.
The Netherlands has introduced the Energy Factory concept as one of the most active current efforts to create energy positive municipal water treatment plants that can export energy. This links with wider progress of implementing waste to energy plants. Progress continues to be made around the thermal processing of sludge, and other innovative approaches include collecting biogas for use as vehicle fuel.