Water is one of civilization’s most valuable resources. Some of the most critical advances in technology center around water management. While understanding water’s importance, we still pollute, waste it, and continue unsustainable practices.
So how can we manage it better?
Reduced Consumption through Analytics
One of the biggest steps to take in water management is to understand its consumption. With water distribution services being so vast, it is not always easy to identify where malfunctions are happening. That’s where companies like APANA® step in. Using system monitoring and statistical algorithms, APANA’s IoT hardware and software identify leaks, operational errors, faults, and bursts, allowing maintenance personnel to respond to situations quickly and mitigate consequences. This type of water management helps improve efficiency and reduce waste.
One player helping reduce consumption of water in the agricultural industry is TerrAvion. TerrAvion uses aircraft to capture imagery of crops, then presenting its findings to farmers, identifying areas of fields that are in need of better irrigation. This data allows the grower to be more efficient with their water usage, ultimately reducing water waste.
Reused Water Purification
Another area of advancement is purification. Recycling wastewater is a means of reducing fresh water consumption beyond limiting usage. There are a number of companies working on purifying wastewater. One company, Cambrian Innovation, provides their technology to industries, processing wastewater and from it creating clean water and power. Their process uses electricity in conjunction with microbes active in the wastewater to remove organic compounds and produce methane biogas, which is then used to generate power.
WaterFX is another company at the forefront of water purification. Their technology uses heat from solar energy to evaporate pure water from wastewater, distilling it to ensure the water is free of other matter. The solid byproduct of the wastewater left over can then be sold for other uses.
Water purification can also be accomplished through osmosis. The process of osmosis occurs when a solvent (in this case water) is drawn across a membrane in to a region of high solute concentration. Oasys Water is developing this solution, using a draw solution to create forward osmosis of fresh water across a membrane, separating the fresh water from wastewater. The fresh water, draw solution combination is then heated, and the draw solution evaporates, leaving the fresh water pure and ready for reuse.
Why These Advancements Are Important With a world population that is continuing to grow, and a fresh water supply that is continuing to shrink, it is imperative that we find a way to strike a balance so we do not decimate our water supply. Advancements in the field of water management will be key to striking that balance.