Accelerated innovation in water technologies and approaches; increased collaboration with traditional and non-traditional partners; and the transformation of wastewater treatment from waste disposal to resource recovery are all contributing to a new and exciting paradigm for water. By capturing valuable resources and useful products for society—such as clean renewable energy, recycled water, fertilizer, nutrients, heat, and even transportation fuel—water utilities are rapidly becoming manufacturing facilities, “green factories,” and “Utilities of the Future” that work to reduce costs and increase revenue while sustaining and improving the world’s increasingly challenged water resources.
At the Water Environment Federation (WEF), we support and promote the accelerated adoption of innovative, out-of-the-box approaches that save community resources, drive smarter water management, and protect public health and the environment. Through programs and events such as WEFTEC, our massive annual technical conference and exhibition including a dynamic showcase for water innovators, the Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology (a joint initiative with the Water Environment Research Foundation), and ongoing comprehensive technical information and training, WEF hopes to promote the conditions that help water innovation happen.
As hundreds of water professionals and related organizations prepare to gather in Washington, D.C. next week to raise awareness of the value of water during Water Week, it’s a great time to shine a light on the changes that these water advocates are leading all over the country. Whether it’s developing projects that maximize water resources or educating about the need to fund repairs and improvements to the nation’s water infrastructure, water professionals are bringing innovative thinking to the table. And when it comes to technologies and practices that transform waste into valuable resources, they are absolutely thinking outside the box, and WEF is proud to help them do it. Here’s more about why out-of- the box thinking is so important for sustainable water resources.