Major challenges are ahead for the water utility industry. Management, design , and public interest are in the forefront with clear solutions in some areas ..while other solutions lie in murky water.
The water industry is facing a talent gap. Many skilled field workers are getting towards the end of their careers. leaving newbies to keep up the aging systems. If the information that is the the old timers heads is not recorded or properly documented much will be lost. Standardization and protocols need to be developed or take a new direction with new design and innovation.
In looking at new designs for our water facilities and systems our want for innovation has to been tempered with the need to last, to be durable. Ontario has done well in this area, however in order to move forward perhaps we should be looking around the world to see how other utilities are handling their situations. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel , but borrow the ideas and adapt them for ourselves. We are also blessed with some great engineering programs in our schools, some great minds will be entering the industry.
Being ready for worst case scenarios is necessary in an era of increasingly unpredictable weather. Can your water system handle floods or shortages, or even polar vortexes? Waste water could be looked at as a resource, not as something to be thrown out…filtration, reuse, energy reclamation, and nutrient input make more sense than dumping.
We will be needing water for a long time to come…let’s get excited about it….
Envisioning a Water Sensitive Future for Our Cities: