Are you interested in learning more about the issues facing the Earth's valuable water resources?
I've put together an outline describing water facts, technologies, process improvements, opportunities, conferences, and competitions.
If you use this outline in any of your work and online posts, please be sure to credit Mary Vincent and add this reference link: http://ecoprotection.blogspot.com/2009/04/water-facts-technologies-process.html
or use tinyurl: http://tinyurl.com/c9ejrq
1. Water Facts:
a. Increased Demand:
Climate change, growing populations, scarcity, and environmental protection challenges are driving water investment. Analysts estimate that the world will need to invest as much as $1 trillion a year on conservation technologies, infrastructure, and sanitation to meet demand through 2030.
- According to the U.S. Accountability Office, about 36 States face water shortages by 2013.
b. Energy Needs:
- The pumping of water accounts for more than 20 percent of global energy consumption (DOE).
- Water costs for businesses are increasing.
- There is a credit crunch; low risk investments with good yields are required in this economy.
d. Aging Infrastructure:
- Infrastructure and treatment facilities are aging
- According to the UN, more than 1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water, and 2/3 of the world's growing population will face periodic and often severe water shortages by 2025
- The Venture Capital Community has been slow to invest in the water sector. Last year out of a total investment of $8.4 billion into clean technology ventures, just $148 million (1.8%) is reported by the Cleantech Group by having been made into water. One of the Top Five 2008 Clean Tech IPOs was American Water Works Company, Inc. 4/23/2008 $1.2 billion NYSE
- California will receive $260 million dollars in US funds for water 4/16/2009
g. New Models:
- Of the wastewater which is collected globally, 38% is actually treated and only 5% of that is actually re-used. Michael Braungart, the author of ‘Cradle to Cradle – remaking the way we make things’
- If everyone went vegetarian for one day, the U.S. would save 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months
- Governments are becoming more involved in green investments, including the U.S.
- There are 57 water quality trading programs worldwide, of which 26 are active, 21 are under development and 10 are inactive or completed pilot projects. Environmental Finance
- The World Business Council for Sustainable Development's (WBCSD) paper, “Water, Energy and Climate Change,” showcases interconnections and 25 case studies showing how business is already linking water, energy and climate across their operations.
- To compete in the global marketplace, companies need to analyze their water risk, invest in new technologies and innovations and take action to help solve the global water challenge.
2. Technologies and Process Improvements:
a. Themes include: New and Improved Designs and Processes, Conservation & Efficiency, Treatment, Filtration, Purification, Reuse, and Storage
b. Specific Technologies and Processes Include:
- Purification and Desalination:
Reverse Osmosis, is a filtration process that is often used for water. It works by using pressure to force a solution through a membrane, retaining the solute on one side and allowing the pure solvent to pass to the other side.
Forward Osmosis, i.e. Oasys Water Inc. – eliminates need for high pressure used in reverse osmosys reducing electricity and fuel by 90%
- Sewage and Wastewater Treatment:
i.e. Veolia Water implemented a 100% energy self-sufficient wastewater treatment plant in Germany. The quantity of the sludge is reduced through thermophilic digestion and provides 60% of the plant's electricity. The digested sludge and treated wastewater are used as irrigation and fertilizer in nearby fields.
- Heating and Cooling:
i.e TEPCO's high efficiency heating and cooling system for Sony's new Tokyo headquarters uses waste heat from a public sewage treatment plant reducing 3,500 tons C02/yr and 92% less water compared to a common office building.
- Process Efficiency
i.e. IBM engineers reduced metal deposited during semiconductor manufacturing reducing water used in the mechanical polishing step by 14% (90,000 liters/yr)
- Water Use Planning:
i.e. GHD, working with Gold Coast Water, developed a plan serving a 150,000 person urban development to adapt to climate change by integrating water supply, sewerage, and storm water services. This reduced the amount of water imported to the development by more than 80% and reduced discharges to the environment by more than 70%
i.e BC Hydro developed Water Use Plans on 23 watersheds where the company has hydro-electric generating facilities. The company funds studies monitoring salmon populations and is currently working on improving salmon spawning channels.
i.e. New York City is implementing extensive watershed management measures, including water quality monitoring and disease surveillance, land acquisition and comprehensive planning, and upgrading wastewater treatment plants.
i.c. Stanford's Natural Capital Project is developing case studies and models for assessing the economic value of natural services (e.g. water filtration services from healthy watersheds and wetlands)
i.e. In Tanzania, programs are being developed where the government pays residents to maintain the forests that regulate water supply instead of logging for fast cash
i.e. New Jersey State Parks and Forest worth at least $140 million because of the parks system's ecosystem services, such as watershed and groundwater protection, flood control, water purification, wildlife conservation, biodiversity preservation, and storage of carbon, the leading greenhouse gas.
- Water Storage:
Aquifer, Lake, and Container Storage, i.e. Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) involves injecting water into an aquifer during periods of surplus and/or low demand and then pumping it out when it is needed.
- Water Metering:
i.e IBM has recently announced it will design and install systems of sensors and back-end software to monitor water pipes, reservoirs, rivers and harbors.
a. March 16-22 5th 'World Water Forum' Istanbul, Turkey - 33,058 participants including Water Fair participants from 192 countries made it the world’s biggest ever water-related event. http://www.worldwaterforum5.org/
b. April 27-28 'Where Water Meets Money' Zurich, Switzerland http://watermeetsmoney.com/
c. October 5-7 2009 'Water Investment World Europe' London, UK http://www.terrapinn.com/2009/water/
a. The Global Water Awards will be presented on April 27, 2009 http://www.globalwaterawards.com
b. Top 50 Water Companies by the Artemis Project announced on April 22, 2009. http://www.theartemisproject.com/competitionpage.html
Thanks to Juliet Lamont, Ph.D Creekcats Environmental Partners for these additional data sources below: (Ecosystem-based Water Resources Planning, Policy, and Strategy) firstname.lastname@example.org