Activities have been fast and furious over the past several months as our team prepares for the American Water Works Association (AWWA) 2011 Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE11) in Washington, D.C. next week. As you may know, for nearly 130 years, AWWA and ACE have provided extensive, timely knowledge and information for water professionals who work to improve the supply and quality of water in North America and beyond.
Getting ready for AWWA ACE11 has provided us some time to think about where the water industry is now and what the future might hold. I think we would all agree that we are an industry that prides itself on creating and achieving innovative water solutions. The most recent initiatives have been focused on development of products and systems that conserve energy and water, which result in myriad economic and environmental benefits to users and the communities.
In fact, did you know, that today half of the people on the planet live in a city or urban area. According to a recent report highlighted in this recent article, all of the world’s demographic growth over the next 30 years will be concentrated in urban areas, which will double the world’s urban population by 2050.
In many developed regions of the world, water treatment and delivery systems are crumbling under the combined pressures of population growth, urbanization, and lack of maintenance.
In China alone, 300 million people are expected to migrate from the interior of the country to the coastal regions in the next two decades, placing demands on infrastructure that cannot possibly be met over the long-term without massive investment in water treatment and infrastructure.
In the United States, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that 1.7 trillion gallons of water are wasted every year as a result of water main breaks and other leaks. Seemingly minor improvements in water infrastructure can also save enormous amounts of water and energy. Even incremental changes could realize significant energy savings.
The AWWA is a staunch supporter for sustainable municipal water systems, and the ACE11 show starting next week will be a great place to join thousands of water professionals who will gather to tackle a growing number of challenges, from infrastructure management to water resources protection to advanced treatment technologies. If you’re around, stop by booth #1625 and talk our ITT team or just say hi.