Sulzer water transport pumps in Burgos, Spain

Let there be water

James Hoare - 19 November 2015

The growing issue of water sustainability

About the author

Mr James Hoare
James Hoare is a member of Valve World magazine's editorial team and is contributing to articles, interviews and reports for KCI publications.
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The November issue of Valve World reported a recent statistic: China has about the same amount of water resources as Canada, but 40 times the population. Here’s another one: according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development, nearly half of the world's population will inhabit areas with severe water stress by 2030.

It was therefore with some interest that the Valve World team attended the recent Aquatrade 2015 event in Amsterdam. This is a four day event, attended by over 18,000 international water technology professionals who met to discuss water related products and issues. The innovations on display to meet these challenges were truly inspiring. If the event didn’t have enough of a buzz to it, the World Championship Pipe Fitting competition certainly added to it (if you think your technicians are fast, these chaps are definitely worth a look).

A great part of Aquatech is the InnovationLAB award, a means to promote and foster start-up companies who are taking new ideas to this growing problem. Chairman of the Jury, Mr Buisman said “there are many smaller companies joining with new hi-tech solutions. Small companies often have the most exciting innovations [and] the water sector is becoming more innovative.”

Aquatech 2015
From 3 – 6 November more than 18,000 international water technology professionals gathered at the Aquatech 2015 convention


The issue of water sustainability was not just present at Aquatech, but also something that Valve World editor James Chater addressed in his article. He highlighted how ZLD (zero liquid discharge) is a growing market, having originated in power plants but now spreading to other industries such as mining, coal processing and petrochemical.

Not surprising then perhaps, that the winner of the InnovationLAB award was one which provided a ZLD solution for the oil and gas industry. The DyVaR product from Saltech provides a one-step zero-liquid discharge process for treating highly saline water, using evaporative and cyclonic technologies to separate out salts and other components to recover almost all of the water and making it available for reuse.

The increasing global demand for water, and the supply side restrictions to meet it, is a continuing concern. As the gap widens, water companies will get smarter, as will oil and gas companies, all pointing towards more innovation in pumps, valves and actuators.

I’m interested to see what the next Aquatrade event brings.

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