Industry steps up on World Water Day

Last month's White House Water Summit, held on World Water Day, March 22, showcased a number of initiatives, technology innovations and commitments aimed at solving some of our biggest water challenges.

Last month’s White House Water Summit, held on World Water Day, March 22, showcased a number of initiatives, technology innovations and commitments aimed at solving some of our biggest water challenges.

While the bulk of the discussions focused on municipal water and wastewater, there were several noteworthy announcements relevant to the industrial water and wastewater market. Here are a few that caught our eye.

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) said that, over the next decade, it will invest approximately $200 million in research and development to: minimize the environmental impacts of water withdrawal and consumption in the electricity sector; address issues concerning the availability and cost-effectiveness of plant water treatment options; and provide more energy-efficient and demand-responsive options for the transportation, treatment and storage of water. EPRI is also building industrywide R&D partnerships to evaluate the performance of early-stage technologies that have the potential to reduce power-plant water use by 15 to nearly 100 percent.

Water solutions provider Pentair announced that, over the next three years, it will establish two Application Centers in the U.S. focused on industrial water reuse in manufacturing and water stewardship in food and beverage processing.

Membrane company Toray is planning to develop a water treatment and membrane R&D center in the United States. Through research collaborations, the center will focus on reducing the cost and energy use of desalination technologies.

While we’re on the topic of desalination, the International Desalination Association announced that in early 2017 it plans to organize an Energy and Environment Symposium in the United States (dates to be announced). IDA said it expects to bring together approximately 250 global leaders to explore desalination and water-reuse issues and “facilitate discussions to shape a path to a sustainable water supply for future generations.”

The Cleveland Water Alliance, with support from the Coca-Cola Foundation, is launching the second phase of its Value of Water Study, which examines the link between clean, reliable water and regional economic growth and business. The study aims to tie direct, indirect, and induced economic impacts directly to regional commitments to clean water.

This year, the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) plans to launch a “Project Cost Curve Database” that will collect information on projects related to energy and water conservation at its 20 global beverage-company members’ 1,800 facilities. The information will help BIER members with the development of their own resource-conservation projects. BIER is also launching “Future Scenarios 2025,” which will examine how access to water and other resources is likely to change over the next decade and how the beverage industry can adapt.

Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) announced its commitment to produce 80 percent of its products using its Water

These are just a few of the highlights, but many other commitments to water sustainability were made on World Water Day. For a detailed summary, visit the Briefing Room at whitehouse.gov.

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