The terrible future of access to clean water on earth is making scientists employ more creative methods of water filtration and purification. This was evidenced during the Energy Forum 2015, whereby various experts from different water supply companies will showcase their proposed approaches to water purification and filtration. There will be teams from different institutions of higher learning with excellent projects. Actually, they will also be looking for potential sponsors to partner and facilitate their projects.
One of the potential projects that will be exhibited by proponents will be to turn cow dung material into filtered water, and fertilizer as a byproduct. This is how serious water shortage is global. Since manure contains mostly water and the material is abundantly available on farms due to many cows all over the world, there is a lot of potential in extracting the water and also make eco-friendly fertilizer out of it. According to the experts, guests will learn how 2,000 cows can produce about 20 million gallons of manure per year. Their technology focuses on the use of anaerobic digestion method that extracts waste and produces energy while the ultra-filtration (reverse osmosis system) produces water. The water can be used for livestock since it is already filtered.
Another future of water in the world is through desalination process, which is seen by many scientists as an efficient method due to the constant increase in water shortage issues. The experts will talk about arid and semi-arid countries such as Israel and Saudi Arabia that can turn to salty water desalination method. They can use ocean water to produce pure drinking water for domestic use. Apart from the said countries, even the process is becoming a norm in California. Many projects have started along the coastline. So, the future of water is still bright despite the fact that water security remains an issue in many countries.
Various reports show that a major project is underway in San Diego County, California. To-date, the plant is already operational. More than 45 million tons of salty water is being purified through reverse osmosis, which is then used to supply clean water for the highly populated county. There is also another plant that is being constructed in Beijing, China, which is expected to start operating by 2019. This will supply clean water for the city residents and its neighboring towns. In addition to these big plants, there are other smaller companies that are using solar-powered plants to desalinate ocean water. These are economical as they use cheaply generated energy, and perhaps start realizing their returns on investment within a relatively shorter period of time.
Among other issues to be raised during the Energy Forum are the WaterSense irrigation controllers. These were first created by the Environmental Protection Agency. The agency designed them as a certification procedure for controllers, which perform as thermostats for sprinkler irrigation systems at homes. According to the agency, these can save more than 8,000 gallons of water per year. The WaterSense controllers are better alternatives to the traditional clock timers as they control watering schedules that match with the plant needs. They use local weather conditions to determine the amount of water required by plants at a given time of the day. Therefore, the builders, landscapers, homeowners, and businesses can benefit from the customizable controllers for their irrigated properties.
The Seriousness of Global Water Challenge
According to World Health Organization, lack of access to clean water causes more deaths than the war in the world. Approximately 2 out of 12 people do not access adequate clean water while more than 5 people out of 30 people lack proper basic sanitation. As we all know, sanitation is entirely dependent on water. In many developing countries, almost half of the population lack access to safe water for drinking. This has led to poor health and outbreak of different water-related diseases. A report by the United Nations indicates that more than 4,000 children die from diarrhea worldwide, a toll that may drop significantly if safe drinking water and appropriate sanitation are made available.
Even though abundant water is available on earth, it is not located evenly everywhere in the world where it is required. If you look at a country like Canada, there is plenty of water more than enough for the people. However, countries in the Northern Africa and the Middle East, just to mention a few, lack adequate clean water. In some parts of Brazil and Africa, there is enough water while other areas suffer from severe droughts. However, lack of political goodwill in some countries interferes with the ability of the governments to avail clean water to their citizens. In other cases, the supply of water in developing countries may be contaminated by poor management of toxic substances such as lead from industries.
It is vital to understand that drinking water accounts for only 5% of total water consumption. Most of the water is used in sanitation, agriculture, and industry. To achieve a healthy and sustainable future, there is a need to develop better methods of availing adequate clean water supply. As mentioned earlier, the future of water may be determined by the ability to invest in the desalination and filtration methods that incorporate the use of reverse osmosis systems.