New year, new opportunities

Jan. 24, 2023
The dawn of a new year signals new opportunities.

The dawn of a new year signals new opportunities. Here at WaterWorld, we are looking forward to another year of finding new and innovative ways to serve our readership, but with a more drinking water-focused lens. Beginning with the first issue of the year, our wastewater-focused content will be covered by our partner publication, Wastewater Digest.

The revitalization of the water sector in 2022 was marked by continued investment in infrastructure upgrades and innovation toward new treatment technologies. Working together, our industry was able to create new opportunities for resilience and continues to work toward ensuring safe and equitable access to clean water for years to come.

In this month’s cover story, Reese Tisdale, CEO and co-founder of Bluefield research outlines his top trends to look for in the water sector during 2023. In the face of higher than usual drought rates, supply-chain shortages and aging infrastructure problems, Tisdale says the industry is ripe for a positive change.

In his piece, Tisdale looks to the future in an attempt to answer questions such as: Will the U.S. Federal Reserve deliver a soft landing for water’s supply chain? Will U.S. companies take advantage of a strong dollar to expand their presence in water? How fast will water management adapt to changing energy, power sector demands? And What are the long-term impacts of U.S. federal infrastructure investment?

“Certainly, the challenges to overcome the [sector’s] shortcomings are immense, but they are also the result of past achievements for which the industry should be applauded,” he writes. “Taking the glass half full perspective — widespread, reliable infrastructure services are possible.” Read more on page 10.

Building on Tisdale’s outlook, in “The Possibilities of Predictive Maintenance,” author Jon Penn outlines the Critical Roles of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in the water sector.

He writes, “Developments in digital water sensing technology are offering unprecedented access to a raft of real-time, high accuracy data without the drawbacks associated with many conventional sensor types. By utilizing these devices, operators can count on greatly improved measurement of many of the key parameters entailed in potable and wastewater treatment processes.”

For operators, a key advantage has been the ability to make informed decisions based on data that reflects actual operating conditions, either in real or near-real time, resulting in cost savings and the near elimination of unnecessary downtime. Read more on page 16.

To bring home our focus on drinking water in the new year, this month’s case study features a South Carolina utility’s approach to combatting taste and odor issues in their treatment plant. Using an ozone advanced oxidation treatment system, the Anderson Regional Joint Water System (ARJWS), a wholesale drinking water provider to 14 water utilities in upstate South Carolina, was able to combat source water problems that were affecting its potable water supply.

On page 30, read about how ARJWS officials tried a variety of solutions before exploring a treatment system upgrade to eliminate seasonal taste and odor events, remove the color associated with naturally occurring iron and manganese, and establish resilience against algae-linked compounds and other contaminants of emerging concern.

For our first issue of 2023, I feel confident that we have put together a solid commentary on the state of the industry today. While we cannot predict exactly how 2023 will play out, we know that the opportunities in water will continue to grow. Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year! WW

About the Author

Alanna Maya | Chief Editor

Alanna Maya is a San Diego State University graduate with more than 15 years of experience writing and editing for national publications. She was Chief Editor for WaterWorld magazine, overseeing editorial, web and video content for the flagship publication of Endeavor's Water Group. In addition, she was responsible for Stormwater magazine and the StormCon conference.