As many of you know, one of my favorite books is a collection of poems called Odes to Common Things. In it, Pablo Neruda writes about ordinary objects that we often take for granted. In “Ode to my Socks,” he outlines the fundamentals of comfort. He analyzes a universe of aromatics in “Ode to a Bar of Soap.” And in “Ode to the Spoon,” he unearths the ancient origins of cutlery. In wonderfully unexpected ways, the poems inspire us to find magic amid the mundane.

This time of year seems like the perfect opportunity to observe many of the essential water technologies that we frequently overlook—to hold essential equipment up to the light and find new ways to appreciate it. Ever noticed the poetic simplicity of a level control valve? Or the intricate complexity of a soil moisture sensor? Consider this an invitation to reflect on your system’s mechanics and observe it with renewed wonder.

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We reached out to a handful of industry professionals this week to learn about the technologies that they value most. Many mentioned the internet as their most valuable tool, for the access to essential information that it grants them with the click of a mouse.

“Two of the things that have made my job easier are the GIS model of our water and recycled water system and our SCADA system,” explains Joe Reichenberger, senior engineer at Beaumont Cherry Valley Water District. Reichenberger has been in the industry for over fifty years, during which time he has observed the digital evolution of tools essential to his operation. “We used to have to look at system maps, wondering if they were really up to date. Now I have the information instantly. Having data like this on a mobile device is a big help too.”

What technologies make running your system easier? What tools do you find useful for boosting efficiency? We invite you to let us know in the comments section or post a photo on Water Efficiency’s Facebook page.
About the Author

Laura Sanchez

Laura Sanchez is the editor of Distributed Energy and Water Efficiency magazines.