We all know that our water resources are limited and face increasing pressures from climate change, pollution, population growth, and aging water infrastructure. Professionals in the water industry know we are facing a global water crisis. Thankfully, many experts are hard at work on solutions.
Technology innovation can help us in addressing our water challenges and put us on a more sustainable path while also supporting economic growth. Here are some ways how technology is changing the future of water.
1. Many startups are tackling water problems
Startups like Imagine H2O encourages innovations in the water industry to use technology to raise awareness about issues and solutions related to significant water problems. Foundations and large corporations are funding the projects related to water conservation and recycling.
Researchers have come up with a solution for water recycling problem by employing water purification system using nanotechnology. The technology removes bacteria, microbes and other matter from water using composite nanoparticles, which emit silver ions that destroy contaminants. It is a hope that low-cost water purification may be around the corner and be commercially scalable.
3. Intelligent Irrigation Methods
A major chunk of world's freshwater is used by the agricultural industry. Applying a more sensible approach to water management by installing precision irrigation systems is already bringing benefits to farmers in developed countries. Instead of using standard clock timers, startups like WaterSense uses controllers that allow watering schedules to match plants' water needs better by using local weather and landscaping conditions.
4. Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles
Toyota recently unveiled its hydrogen fuel cell car. It is one of the first such vehicles to be sold commercially. It is also rated by the EPA, as the most fuel efficient hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, and the one with the largest range. The only emission from the car is water vapor. It is surely going to bring a remarkable change.
The number of desalination plants around the world continue to grow. Although holding much promise for the future, seawater desalination is still really expensive, with reverse osmosis technology consuming a vast amount of energy. However, many small plants around the world are using solar desalination method to treat the water, which may be more feasible.
6. Access to up-to-date Information
WatrHub is trying to be the big data terminal of the future for water data. The company provides up-to-date information about water and wastewater treatment and aims to make it available to anyone who wants to use the service with market intelligence and actionable reports.
7. New Military Uses
Researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory are trying to create economical fuel that could cost somewhere between $3 and $6 per gallon. Currently, they are conducting experiments using carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater and turning it into forms of gasoline for US Navy aircrafts.
8. Innovative Toilet Design
The Gates Foundation held a “Reinvent the Toilet Challenge” in 2012, and the winners of the challenge, the researchers at Caltech, created a toilet that turns waste into fertilizer, which is more cost and energy efficient. In this design, an electrochemical reaction powered by a solar panal breaks human waste into solids for fertilizer and hydrogen for fuel cells that are stored in the reactor to power the toilet. The toilet is still in its trial phases, with one project running in India, but research is being done to make this project more scalable.
9. New monitoring technologies
New monitoring technologies help to ensure the integrity of vast water supply networks. Electronic instruments, such as acoustic and pressure sensors and state of the art drones based monitoring systems will allow farmers to find when and where fertilizer and irrigation are most needed, therefore reducing wastewater, runoff, and contamination from the chemicals.
10. Innovative Wastewater Treatment
With populations growing much of the world is dealing with antiquated or non existant wastewater treatment. Active Water Solutions has developed a technology that solve wastewater issues in decentralized locations globally. With it's easy set up and turn key operations, AWS can fit in almost any location and the treated wastewater can be reused for irrigation, agriculture and even for cooling towers. Why pump it elsewhere when it can be treated onsite?
Are you interested in learning more about Active Water Solutions and their innovative wastewater technology. Contact us today to receive your free consultation.