In honor of Texas Water 2014 this week in Dallas, here is my list of growth opportunities that engineers and managers need to be looking at:
- Smarter systems and software for metering and network monitoring - - Asset management will increasingly focus on managing what you can measure. Reactive management needs to get closer to active management.
- Urban Water Management - - Out with the silos of water management and in with the notion of thinking in terms of One Water. We just need to call it water.
- Low-Energy Treatment and Better Process Efficiency - - Optimizing asset performance over the complete life-cycle will require civil engineers to think more like industrial engineers and OR experts.
- Flood Safety and Security - - We know we face a future of extreme rainfall events. Risk reduction and management, from better mapping to real-time monitoring/barriers, need more attention and innovation.
- Wastewater Reuse - - The local wastewater treatment plant is a valuable source of resources and nutrients. In a resource constrained world, wasting wastewater will not be considered sustainable utility management.
- The Water-Energy Nexus - - Water needs energy and energy needs water. The interdependencies of the two systems have the potential to have cascading impacts this century.
- Zero-Discharge Sanitation - - Innovation will continue to drive the idea of a system that generates zero or minimal wastewater. Resilience and sustainability will drive a de-centralizing water resources movement.
- Megacities - - The best jobs will be in the best cities. Mass migration to the best jobs/best cities will produce higher density living conditions - requiring creative engineering and technology in the context of full spectrum water resources management.