H2bidblog

Innovation in the Water Industry is Too Slow

Our water infrastructure is aging. What collects, treats and distributes our important water supply is deteriorating faster than the water industry can innovate. This is partly due to the fact that most systems are small and often unable to afford new technologies.

At the same time, we need innovation to help reduce the growing cost of providing water services. This trend of innovation being unaffordable may, by 2022, leave millions of Americans unable to afford their local water rates. Our commodity that is so taken for granted will become more precious than ever. In some instances the drinking water is not properly treated and new affordable technology is needed to protect the health and wellness of the people living in those areas.

A new model is being considered that will take advantage of all financial project options, streamline regulations, and build technical capacity. The financial portion means obtaining money from federal funding as well as finding ways to fund projects and their delivery.

Building technical capacity means addressing 151,000 public water systems for drinking water alone. It is a formidable feat. But, the industry is not giving up. Some are forging ahead to create a model that is sustainable for the future. It is estimated that between $105 billion and $2 trillion needs to be invested to bring our water infrastructure up to speed.
With most systems nearing the age where they become unusable, delivering that model is more important than ever. This model must address one or all of the stages of the life-cycle. These include new technology for how water is collected, treated, and delivered. Or they could address a new process for one of the stages in which water passes through. It also means looking closely at the operation and financing of the systems.
Regardless of which stage it addresses, innovation is a critical component that must be implemented throughout the water industry. Unfortunately, the conservative nature of the industry and funding constraints have caused many sectors to be either unable or unwilling to adopt new technologies. It’s time to invest more in new technologies and speed up the adoption process.