The word crisis is thrown around quite a bit in the water industry as of late. In early February, the temperature was so cold in the Chicago area that many meteorologists on local television encouraged people to stay indoors unless they must go out. Some had no choice, from those who deliver mail to those working in the water and sewer systems. In my hometown of Rockford, Ill., local churches were opening their doors for those who needed a place to stay because the temperatures were so dangerously cold. This was a crisis—a time of intense difficulty, as the dictionary defines.
In different sections of the industrial sector, crises are happening every day. Water scarcity is leading to conflicts around the globe. Day Zero—a term coined by Cape Town in 2018 to describe the day the city would run out of water—is brought up yet again. In the Colorado River Delta, a recent report showed that groundwater levels are now declining. Groundwater is essential to the survival of riparian vegetation in broad expanses of the delta.
Water is needed for the industry as well as the everyday citizen. That is something that will never change.
Conserving water is another story. In Austin, Texas, conservation is helping the city lower wastewater bills. In a news story on our website, the city’s water utility conducts wastewater averaging each winter. In this process, the city provides a measure that is reflective of the amount of water that goes into the sanitary sewer system from each resident’s property. The process is done each winter season, and is averaged sometime between November and March.
Cooling towers also require large amounts of water to efficiently work. Water conservation is a high priority in these towers and in other work such as shale fracturing (fracking). Sand mining plants add to the large water demand, as well.
Wherever you look, you will see a person or section of the industry in need of help. As a journalist, one of my favorite things to do is shine a light on someone or something that is in need. All it takes is the right person with the right materials to see a story and take action.
If there is a section of the industry you think is need of some help or assistance, email us your thoughts at [email protected].