Saturday, January 21, 2017

Water Worries

If your home or small community is located outside the obligated service area of an existing water utility, you may need to start thinking like a space colonist. Ditto for developers seeking to put new lands into service, particularly in desert areas where a 100-year water supply is a dubious proposition. Rather than see it as another indicator of government's hostility to business, an entrepreneur should see water recycling as an opportunity to serve an off-the-grid sustainable-technology marketplace.


Two trends are harbingers of a change in the water market.

First, water providers are beginning to see the end of the supply of cheap, clean fresh water. Not only are the quantities of fresh water limited compared to burgeoning demand, but it has finally come to light that an expanding infrastructure that does not consider life cycle costs for maintenance and replacement will eventually become a failed infrastructure. This makes growth outside of a well-networked service area problematical for water quality and reliability reasons. Old water is bad water. A dead-end water main, such as those found on the periphery of a water service area, is not just a maker of old water because of its stored volume, but also a single point of failure chain with each link a stick of pipe. It is therefore unreliable, more liability than asset.

Second, a new market for off-the-grid utilities has emerged with the realization that a central system is a commons. No one has a stake in it, so no one takes care of it. It becomes wasteful, expensive, unreliable, and, eventually, it becomes dangerous.

That's the problem.

The solution is technology that allows you to recycle water, any water, including storm water, gray water, black water (septic), and water from the air in the home and conservatory, such as a greenhouse. Much is already available. More is needed. Jump in.