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Reducing Water Loss
Drought conditions and water shortages in the past year show how quickly a lack of water can become an emergency. While we can't control the weather, we can reduce water loss in the broken system that delivers our drinking water - a hidden problem that's quickly getting attention.
A lack of water causes obvious problems above the ground, as plants die and people and animals suffer. But the underground damage is unseen, as each day massive amounts of fresh, clean water are lost through a failing distribution system of old, leaking pipes.
The American Society of Civil Engineers calls it an infrastructure crisis and gave the U.S. drinking water infrastructure a grade of D- while noting an annual funding shortfall of $11 billion to replace leaking pipes that have exceeded their useful life.
The American Water Works Association estimates that 18% of drinking water is lost each day through leaking pipes and broken water mains in the United States. In many old systems, even higher amounts are lost and water efficiency is desperately needed.
Growing leaks cause pipes to fail, with an estimated 850 water main breaks occurring in the United States each day. Not only does that waste millions of gallons of water that was just treated to high drinking quality standards, it also damages surrounding property and causes public health and safety issues (sinkholes, traffic problems, boil water orders, loss of pressure in fire hydrants, etc.)
Now this crisis has the attention of public leaders who are demanding changes to create a sustainable water infrastructure system that protects our most valuable resource.
Global Water technologies has developed a comprehensive "people + pipes + policy" approach to sustainable water infrastucture, using smart water grid technologies. The process engages the people who are the consumers of water, upgrades the pipes and infrastructure that make up the delivery system and improves the policies that encourage water efficiency at the local, state and national levels.
Global Water Technologies has partnered with GreenSuite to connect "people" with a web-based consumer portal that provides information on usage analytics, methods to improve efficiency and ways to reward such behavior.
An important step in addressing this major problem is to install good measurement tools that show where the underground problems are located and how conditions are changing.
Global Water Technologies is introducing a patented new technology for "pipes" to address this urgent problem. An innovative sensor + software solution that has been used across Europe will now allow U.S. cities to measure pressure, flow and noise conditions in underground pipes and find the problems before water mains break.
Getting real-time data is the first step in creating a smart water grid that reduces water loss and collateral damage. New tools and solutions can be developed around that flow of data to better manage the critical water infrastructure and protect the vital water it carries to every home and business. That's a significant opportunity for new water technologies.
Global Water Technologies has partnered with the Buried Asset Management Institute (BAMI-I) to develop good policy and seek a pilot project location for this new technology. The company is also working with Peerless Pump and the Construction Engineering Management Technology program at Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) to promote a "living laboratory" where such sustainable solutions can be developed and deployed.
Communities interested in participating should contact the company for more information.