An economic case for water-saving technology
Innovations at this month’s International Emerging Technology Symposium (IETS) provided a strong economic case for investment in water-saving technology.
One such innovation, the NASA-engineered Orbital Systems shower, uses a closed-loop system to recycle heated water. The “shower of the future,” already in use in Europe, captures energy and water savings as high as 80% and 90%, respectively. The fully contained system isn’t cheap. But, the high flow rate and guilt-free experience has been shown to boost loyalty at private clubs and gyms. Better yet, the total cost of ownership is typically recouped within two years in facilities like gyms or schools with frequent shower use. You can estimate your facility’s potential savings based on typical city water rates on their Web site. While the product specifications don’t fit neatly within the plumbing code box, I’m told by those close to the process that game-changing innovations like this could get special consideration due to scarcity issues. I have no doubt that they will stay the course and make it through any essential reviews; I say this with confidence as the head of their U.S. operations, David Epstein, is a fellow Badger and was also the lead designer in the Soul of a New Machine, a riveting summer read for anyone involved in tech commercialization.
Other items showcased at IETS 2016:
- http://www.Aqua-Rex.com – Aqua Rex is an electronic physical water conditioner that partially softens water and inhibits scale formation in hot and cold water services. By removing existing scale in a Las Vegas high rise, the easy-to-install electronic solution is reported to have delivered a 3:1 ROI within 12 months of installation.
- http://www.water-protec.com/ – Because water damage is cited as the cause of more than 30 percent of home insurance claims, automated leak detection and water shut-off technology can save homeowners needless expense. Water Protec was created to prevent such damage. It works by activating a simple electronic valve to automatically shut off water flow when the control panel receives an overflow signal. We’re told that it could also be used to justify a reduction in insurance and/or to qualify for coverage where water damage is common.
- Kohler and Sloan continue to innovate the modern washroom to save water, combat disease and meet the needs of consumers, see: Kohler’s http://www.Radacontrols.com and Sloan’s TruFlush flushometer, https://www.sloan.com/.
- Dr. Marc Edwards, engineering professor and researcher at Virginia Tech, Tim Keane, consulting engineer, principal, Legionella Risk Management, Inc. and Gary Klein, president, Gary Klein and Associates, Inc. were key speakers. They discussed the need for holistically thinking about the engineering and design of water systems to avoid unintended consequences.
- The gathering of seasoned plumbing, manufacturing and engineering professionals was supported by many new and well-researched papers and case studies. If you weren’t able to attend you may have interest in browsing the recap and papers now available on the IAPMO host site: International Emerging Technology Symposium Recap.
To learn more about water saving technology innovation, we hope you will join us or our partners at these industry-leading conferences:
- June 14-15 – The Water Council Summit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- June 20-22 – American Water Works Association ACE 16, Chicago, Illinois
- June 29 – Israel California Water Conference, Los Angeles, California
- July 10-14 – Singapore International Water Week, Singapore
- Oct. 5-7 – WaterSmart Innovations Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada
Add your favorites to this list, and please share findings in our LinkedIn “Network for Water!”