Best of World Water Day 2017

Water. desalination + reuse rounds up the social projects, scientific discoveries, prize launches, and other initiatives from the desal and reuse community on World Water Day, 22 March 2017.

Project Safewater

Pentair unveiled plans for its next Project Safewater initiative, in Lempira and Intibuca, in western Honduras, areas which have some of the highest percentages of people living in extreme poverty in Honduras. Pentair, with global engineering non-profit, Water Mission, and local Honduran government organisations, will work to improve water quality, sanitation infrastructure, and Water and Sanitation for Health (WASH) behaviours for 150,000 people. It builds on the Project Safewater Colon initiative that provided scalable, sustainable safe water and sanitation projects in Colon, Honduras.

Nitrogen removal

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) shared news of the chance discovery of a comammox (complete ammonia oxidising) bacteria that can turn ammonia into nitrates in one step, potentially saving energy compared to traditional two-step processes. The discovery was made by scientists working on the EPSRC-funded Healthy Drinking Water project, led by University of Glasgow, UK, which is due to publish its core findings later this year.

New economic model for water

The World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Water, and the Global Water Leader Group, published white paper, ‘New models for water access’, putting forward ideas for a new economic model that will help to reverse a reported decline in water services in many parts of the world.

Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2018

Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) opened its call for entries for the Lee Kuan Yew Water Prize 2018. It honours outstanding contributions by individuals or organisations towards solving the world’s water challenges by developing or applying innovative technologies, policies or programmes which benefit humanity. The winner receives SGD 300,000 ($215,000), a certificate, and gold medallion at a ceremony held during SIWW 2018.

Critical thinking

Engineers MWH, now part of Stantec, launched ‘Water Futures – Water, Energy, and Agriculture to 2035’, a new series of eight essays that will explore the critical uncertainties, challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. MWH called on the water and energy industries to maximise water resources by embracing new technologies.

Open access papers

The International Water Association (IWA) shared reading from its collection, including open access to papers on wastewater treatment and water supply, and water resources and the environment.

Volunteer challenge

Xylem began a month-long employee challenge in which staff can volunteer for a range of activities to protect water resources and educate communities about water challenges. Activities including building 10,000 gallon water towers in Columbia, Indonesia, and the Philippines; and educate-to-innovate classroom visits in California, US.

Global call-out

The World Water Council called on governments globally to contribute “a relevant part of their budget to projects that make safe water available to all on the planet.”