The 2008 Beijing Olympics was a spectacular display of human strength and ingenuity. The effects of the games on China’s environment were a different story. With an influx of people and need for raw supplies, water resources plummeted leading to the closing of factories and a rush to build new water systems to redistribute water accordingly. The London Olympics planning committee learned from the mistakes of the 2008 games.
London is proudly claiming to be the “Greenest Games” in history with water supply and distribution being a huge contributor to their declaration. London applied green principles to water consumption using recycled water to water plants and flush toilets. A special system was also built on-site to change sewage into “Blackwater”, a form of water used for toilet flushing. With about 80,000 toilet flushes a day, it actually saved over half of the fresh water which could then be used where necessary.
There was plenty of worry months before the games started because London had experienced one of the worst droughts in history. With careful planning and public participation the London Olympics have been a success with minimal impact on the environment. Hopefully future Olympic committees will learn and take the green process to the next level for future games.
Written February 12, 2012
Written July 31, 2012