Through better water management practices and technology, the nation can reduce its water usage by 33 percent, bringing the US closer in line with other industrialized nations, and could reduce total CO2 emissions by about 1.5 percent annually, the White House says.
The strategy also calls on the private sector to promote and invest in research and development that will reduce new water supply technology’s cost by four times, electricity usage by three times and emissions by two times to achieve “pipe parity” — meaning costs equal to those from current processes for delivering fresh water — in the next decade.
As part of the public-private water strategy, the White House yesterday hosted a Roundtable on Water Innovation with industry and public leaders to discuss how to plan, efficiently use, and develop new supplies of clean water.
Evoqua Water Technologies participated in the event to discuss its Nexed electrochemical desalination module technology, which can reduce energy costs by as much as 30 percent. In addition, the new technology can help lower costs and facility footprint, the company says.
Water and wastewater utility American Water also participated in the roundtable. “Discussions included topics on water efficiency, technology, cost and innovative financing,” American Water’s Dr. Mark LeChevallier, director of innovation and environmental stewardship, told Environmental Leader. “The workshop is a prelude to a larger summit planned in March 2016 to further underscore the importance of water.”
In its other efforts to kick-start the water strategy, the Obama Administration is:
- Launching a new Center for Natural Resources Investment at the Department of the Interior to promote increased private investment in water infrastructure and facilitate locally led water exchange agreements in the western US.
- Announcing funding: more than $20 million in water and energy efficiency grants through the WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grant Program at the Department of the Interior. Funding will be awarded for projects that conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the use of renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, benefit endangered and threatened species, facilitate water markets, carry out activities to address climate-related impacts on water, or prevent any water-related crisis or conflict.
- Launching an interactive website that connects data from a variety of sources to provide a visual depiction of the long-term drought in the Colorado River Basin.
Photo Credit: low level of Lake Mead via Shutterstock