WEFTEC.17: City of Houston and AccelerateH2O announce first water technology hub for municipal water innovation, emergency response

Oct. 6, 2017
AccelerateH2O, a non-profit water technology initiative, has launched several demonstration hubs on desalination, data and instrument integration, smart-irrigation and water recycling.

CHICAGO, IL & HOUSTON, TX, OCT 6, 2017 -- The City of Houston Water and AccelerateH2O announced the launch of the nation's first largescale technology demonstration hub during the 2017 Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) in Chicago, Illinois.

Leveraging Houston Water's vast water and wastewater infrastructure and expertise to maximize operations while remaining on the cutting-edge of new technology, the City of Houston has had a long-standing practice of partnering with national research organizations, academic institutions and engineering firms to identify and pilot emerging innovative practices.

"The launch of Houston Water's new Innovation TechHub in collaboration with AccelerateH2O, promises our customers access to the most innovative water and wastewater technology in the nation. As Houston continues to grow, this innovative program invites global ideas and solutions to be evaluated, tested and showcased for our region and the world," said Yvonne Forrest, Deputy Director of Houston Water.

AccelerateH2O, a non-profit water technology initiative, has launched several demonstration hubs on desalination, data and instrument integration, smart-irrigation and water recycling. AccelerateH2O has modeled demonstration hub and technology programs in Israel, Singapore, Canada and France.

"What Texas has been missing to spark more innovation and to optimize our existing water/wastewater facilities and infrastructure are these full-scale, in-the-field locations to evaluate emerging technology on scientific, technical, engineering and economic value proposition. I commend the City of Houston in taking leadership to adopt innovative advancements, especially in response to the recent hurricane and need for long-term resiliency," noted Ed Archuleta, former President of El Paso Water and Co-Chairman of AccelerateH2O's Advisory Board.

Using its demonstration hub framework tailored for Houston Water, AccelerateH2O will support and implement a formal process for engaging, onboarding, and managing 5-7 annual projects, and will serve the City's near-term technology adoption strategies AND provide unique opportunities for emerging, growth, and proven technologies to utilize the significant asset and facility 'plaform' offered by one of the Nation's largest systems. In addition to the hub program, a Regional Water Innovation Partnership will align Greater Houston's robust knowledge base with research institutions, non-profit technology organizations, chambers of commerce, economic and workforce development interests, entrepreneurial and investment leaders to promote immediate and long-term sustainability, resiliency and impact for current and future generations. 2 The effect of a regional partnership is to connect the capabilities and experiences – both high-and low-tech – to drive the end-use of findings, recommendations, and outcomes from the demonstration hub. In turn, AccelerateH2O will conduct a series of Technology Showcases to present the activities on and around the demonstration program as well as to promote marketopportunities for global and national interests, including country-specific trade programs through Greater Houston's extensive consul general and international officers.

"As a fourth-generation Houstonian, and in our role for connecting the supply of the best ideas, solutions, resources and investment dollars with real-world demand, the launch of the Demonstration Hub and Regional Water Innovation Partnership for and with the City of Houston is a unique opportunity to spark a strategic scenario for our state and nation. We are honored to serve the Mayor and the City in optimization and in its rebuilding efforts post Hurricane Harvey," said Richard Seline, Executive Director and Senior Advisor, AccelerateH2O.

A Call for Proposals will be issued in December for the 2018 program-year. In response to the urgent scenario from the hurricane, the City and AccelerateH2O have jumpstarted the initiative with two portable, skid-mounted technologies on waste treatment – AquaTecture and Viroment – based on global outreach conducted in coordination with SplashLink's ECHO platform (www.Splashlink.org).

About the City of Houston Water
Houston Water provides high-quality water and wastewater service to over 2.3 million customers daily and is the largest water/wastewater utility in Texas. Houston Water's team of more than 1,545 employees maintain three surface water purification plants, 40 water resource recovery facilities, 100 pump stations, 383 lift stations, over 7,000 miles of water lines, 6,200 miles of collection lines, 325 miles of force mains, 59,000 fire hydrants, 127,400 manholes, 159,000 valves as well as the Northeast Water Purification Plant Expansion, the largest project in the world which will triple the output of fresh drinking water and help reduce the area's dependence on groundwater. Houston Water is a service line of Houston Public Works www.HoustonPublicWorks.org.

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