Water Quality, Quantity Requires a Collaborative Effort

The world’s water situation continues on a path leading to an inescapable crisis.

by Deborah LaVelle

The world’s water situation continues on a path leading to an inescapable crisis. Meeting the challenges of today and tomorrow will require a collaborative effort to inform the public at every level. As equipment and process designers, we bear the responsibility for providing technologically proven and reliable solutions based on experience, sound research and field-testing as we strive to meet the world’s water challenges.

In the manufacturing industry sector, we are fortunate to have companies who continue to provide advanced technologies. These companies also make it a priority to remain informed on issues surrounding the impending water crisis. Several conduct applied research and transfer their results to the public in the form of equipment and process design solutions that can provide improved water quality and support long-term sustainability. Manufacturers cannot meet these challenges alone; for example, as we face current and future nutrient water quality requirements, collaboration will be the primary method for finding solutions. The unknown effects of pharmaceuticals, personal care products and agricultural products on our water supplies raise the stakes for everyone who participates in the effort of lessening the effects of the approaching water crisis.

For those involved in equipment and process design, it is imperative that they take responsibility for the application and performance of their systems. It is also incumbent on technological solution providers to collaborate with consultants and owners by providing solutions that not only meet current needs, but also consider future water quality requirements. It is equally important for owners to remain involved and informed from initial process selection through design and procurement. Working as a team will assure the best water quality and quantity at the best life cycle cost.

Unfortunately, a “one-size fits all” solution does not exist for these dual challenges of water quality and quantity. We need to re-think historical approaches that may hinder the implementation of proven technological solutions as they become available; a proactive and collaborative approach should minimize any further delay in our response to the global water crisis we face today. Therefore, when looking for an equipment or process design solution, look to companies with proven experience. These companies are typically focused and dedicated to applied research and development and technology solutions proven through third party field-testing. In addition, a good collaborative partner is well informed and capable of educating participants at every level from design through training. There is no doubt, the solution provider selected by an owner to meet these challenges must be reliable for the next 20 years and more closely involved throughout the life of the plant than in the past.

The most important responsibility of water and wastewater treatment solution providers is to strive to meet or exceed the end user/owner’s water quality requirements and expectations. Responsible developers of technological solutions, such as manufacturing companies who are WWEMA members, have a duty to the public, themselves, and the organization, to provide tested and proven equipment and process solutions. It will require a collaborative effort, better communication, effective knowledge transfer, re-thinking old practices and proactive implementation of technological advances so we can meet the world’s water quality and quantity challenges of today and well into the future.

About the author: Deborah LaVelle is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Aqua-Aerobic Systems Inc., a Rockford, Illinois-based manufacturer of wastewater treatment equipment and systems for both municipal and industrial markets, worldwide. She currently as a member of the WWEMA Board of Directors.

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