As the human population of the world continues to grow rapidly, bridging the gap between supply and demand and providing access to safe, clean water has become a priority and a strategic imperative that must be continuously addressed. Thus, there is a clear need to seek out fresh ideas and new approaches to deal with the challenges of dwindling natural water supplies. Whilst there is still some methods to follow, advances in science and technology are helping to bridge this gap and drive the industry forward. The goal of many of these advances is to enhance sustainability and efficiency of production whilst reducing power usage and wastage to a minimum throughout water infrastructure networks. And the advances that will reach success will be scalable, at low cost, and ecologically friendly, easily installed or retrofitted to existing infrastructure and easy to maintain.
One of the examples of the technologies that are gaining traction are ‘all in-pipe’ biological water treatment solutions is a ‘Biopipe’ through which you can recycle wastewater without creating any waste thus making the water completely safe for use in organic farming or discharging into rivers or sea. Biopipe is also scalable and treats the wastewater generated by houses or cities of millions of people just as efficient.
As the need to become more efficient and the need to reduce wastage becomes more acute, water contamination detection and quality monitoring becomes an indispensable factor. An example of a new solution that addresses this problem is the ‘refractive index (RI) sensor’. It can monitor the quality of drinking water, detect the full spectrum of contaminants in water infrastructure networks, and provide feedback in real time.
Despite these exciting new advances and growing interest, the water industry is traditionally slow to adopt alternative solutions compared to other industries. In addition, the water and wastewater industry is a capital-intensive market and securing enough funds to support such an investment is an ongoing challenge especially for emerging markets. Thus, we are likely to witness increased private sector engagement and the emergence of interesting PPP frameworks and funding models for long-term yield investments