Benchmark for the Future

When most people think of the Olympic Games, they think of awe-inspiring stories of determination, stories of achieving the goal of a lifetime—and the promise the future can hold. They wonder what it must be like to go through such an intense level of preparation for one make-it-or-break-it chance.

As I watched the 2012 Olympics, I also found myself marveling at the level of preparation from an infrastructure standpoint. London’s Thames Water Old Ford Water Recycling Plant (WRP) was set up as a part of the Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA) Sustainable Water Strategy, which had a target of reducing potable water consumption by 40%. The combined effect of all water saving measures achieved a 58% water use reduction, exceeding the target. It is the U.K.’s largest water recycling plant to date, treating 574 cu meters per day of wastewater from London’s northern outfall sewer, using membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology. According to the ODA, it will serve as a benchmark for future WRPs in this increasingly water-scarce region.

The U.K isn’t the only country that foresees increasing use of membrane technologies in its future. According to a study by The Freedonia Group released earlier this year, “Membrane Separation Technologies,” the demand for membranes in the U.S. is expected to increase 7.7% per year, swelling to $5.4 billion in 2016. Environmental regulations regarding water and wastewater streams will drive this growth. 

Additionally, the study said, companies will increasingly purchase membrane separation systems either to replace conventional separation systems or to fill new fluid separation needs.

The industry has an exciting future ahead, and we are here to follow it every step of the way. This issue of Membrane Technology includes such forward-thinking pieces as, “Pioneering Desalination in the Panhandle” (page 6), about Florida’s leadership in desalination, and “The New MBR Paradigm” (page 9), about expanding MBR technology’s reach.

I hope you will find this issue informative and, as we continue to monitor the growth of membrane technologies, that you will keep us informed about the exciting projects you have on your plate. Here’s to the future!

Elizabeth Lisican is managing editor for Membrane Technology. Lisican can be reached at elisican@sgcmail.com or 847.391.1012.

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