What I learned about water in 2020

December 30, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on What I learned about water in 2020

What I learned about water in 2020 Will Sarni Wed, 12/30/2020 – 01:30 Last year around this time, I focused on digital technology solutions for water with this essay, ” 2019: The Year Analog Solutions Died .” I stand by this perspective, as the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated interest and adoption of digital technologies across the water value chain. However, I wanted to share six new learnings from this pandemic year related to digital transformation along with other observations about the topic of water.   1. Digital transformation is about people: The digital transformation of water was well underway pre-pandemic and accelerated quickly during the past nine months. What was once anticipated to be a multiyear transformation occurred rapidly, with both the utility and industrial sectors scrambling to identify digital technologies and integrate them into their operations to adjust to remote workforces. Two aspects of the digital transformation took on more prominence: the critical importance of the workforce and the role of earth observation science (EOS) technologies. First, the critical importance of people in digital transformation cannot be underestimated. Transformation will stall or fail if there is no alignment between business strategy and culture, and there is a lack of investment in the workforce. The insights on digital transformation from 2019 papers and research came to the forefront (” IWA Digital Transformation ” and ” The Technology Fallacy “). The key takeaways are that successful investments in digital water technologies require a strategy, commitment by leadership, investment in the workforce and establishing and nurturing a culture of learning. The most important from my perspective is creating a culture of learning — it will contribute to attracting and retaining talent. We also witnessed the emergence of EOS technologies to provide real-time water quality, ecosystem health and flood prediction analytics from satellite data acquisition and analytics companies (such as Gybe , 52 Impact and Cloud to Street ). Digital technologies are connecting across the value chain of utilities and industries for a more real-time view of water quality, quantitative evaluations of ecosystems and flood prediction. 2. We need a “skunkworks” strategy for innovation: Innovation in water technology and business models is slow for several reasons. The competition is the status quo (the installed base). In general, organizations “try” to innovate from within, and water is a public health issue, so utilities can’t take risks. We don’t have the luxury of time to wait for innovative technologies and business models to scale. At this rate, we won’t achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6, which sets the goal of clean water and sanitation for all. What we need is a skunkworks mindset and strategy. If other industry sectors such as the aircraft and aerospace sectors can innovate quickly and at scale, so can the water sector. For those unfamiliar with the term, the relevant characteristics of a skunkworks project are outlined as a concentration of a few good people solving problems far in advance, at a fraction of the cost of other groups by applying the simple, most straightforward methods possible to develop new projects (paraphrased from Kelly Johnson ). 3. Water is not (just) the water industry: The issues and opportunities related to water are not just about the water industry. We need a more expansive view of the role of water in society and our environment. For example, water has economic, business, social and spiritual dimensions. The water industry sector mostly focuses on economic and business dimensions and rarely, if at all, on the social and spiritual dimensions. I would reframe the narrative to focus on humanity’s relationship with water (especially health and wellness, and natural ecosystems). Water doesn’t come from the tap or bottled water, so let’s protect watersheds and ecosystems. This message needs to be communicated simply and clearly to those outside the water sector. 4. Diversity is critical to solving wicked water problems: Society would benefit from greater diversity in solving water challenges as it is doubtful solutions exclusively will come from the usual suspects (myself included). We need vastly more diversity in age, gender, race, geography and from industry outsiders. Increasing diversity will not happen organically; we need to be proactive and work at it or we are destined to bring the same ideas to the party. As Ben Dukes, a friend and colleague, often says, “What got you here won’t get you there.” 5. Innovation in investing in water remains a challenge: Water technology entrepreneurs and startups continue to be challenged by traditional venture capital and private equity investment models. Water is not cleantech and requires more patient capital, which is in short supply. However, there are encouraging signs as initiatives such as Anheuser-Busch InBev’s 100+ Accelerator and Microsoft’s $1 billion Climate Innovation Fund invest in innovative water and sustainability solutions. The increased interest during 2020 in environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance has also focused more on innovative water solutions. 6. Water is not climate: The statement “If climate is the shark, water is the teeth” is misleading and not helpful. This year, climate change continued to gain traction within the private sector in the form of new commitments and investments from companies such as Amazon, Google and Nestle, among many others. This is certainly to be applauded. However, a cautionary word: Solving climate change will not solve the fundamental issues with water scarcity, poor quality and lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. The potential and likely failure to achieve SDG 6 can be attributed to public policy failures sch as pricing, allocations and lack of funding. We can solve climate change and water and need to focus on both. There is no shortage of lessons learned from 2020. While it was a profoundly challenging year, we do have an opportunity to do better by critically examining what needs to change in the years ahead. This past year has framed my view of what the future may hold for 2021 as we build back better . I will share my thoughts on 2021 in my next Liquid Assets column. Topics Water Efficiency & Conservation Innovation Corporate Strategy Featured Column Liquid Assets Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Photo courtesy of Shutterstock/ Chepko Danil Vitalevich

Read more from the original source:
What I learned about water in 2020

Why I am doubling down on digital for water

April 24, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Why I am doubling down on digital for water

One word, resilience

More:
Why I am doubling down on digital for water

This vision of the post-pandemic food system looks a lot like a microgrid

April 24, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on This vision of the post-pandemic food system looks a lot like a microgrid

Redundant, distributed, resilient, smaller scale and locally powered, yet connected to the larger world in ways that benefit it when safe.

Original post:
This vision of the post-pandemic food system looks a lot like a microgrid

Reflections on Davos: Who solves ‘wicked problems’?

January 30, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Reflections on Davos: Who solves ‘wicked problems’?

You know the answer.

Read the original here:
Reflections on Davos: Who solves ‘wicked problems’?

2019, the year analog water solutions died

December 17, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on 2019, the year analog water solutions died

Analog is not quite gone, but digital solutions are nearly mainstream

Here is the original:
2019, the year analog water solutions died

The innovation buzz from Stockholm World Water Week

September 25, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on The innovation buzz from Stockholm World Water Week

It’s not just about technology, it’s about laws, public policy and social engagement.

Here is the original post:
The innovation buzz from Stockholm World Water Week

A locally led move toward microgrids in Puerto Rico

September 25, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on A locally led move toward microgrids in Puerto Rico

The shift can promote energy equity, foster local ownership and avoid expensive and polluting investments in fossil fuels.

See original here:
A locally led move toward microgrids in Puerto Rico

Innovation will be central for achieving ‘water for all’

August 7, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Innovation will be central for achieving ‘water for all’

What’s on deck for Stockholm World Water Week 2019.

More here:
Innovation will be central for achieving ‘water for all’

Electric bus giant Proterra gears up for new market: commercial trucks

August 7, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Electric bus giant Proterra gears up for new market: commercial trucks

The automotive and energy storage company is looking to move its electrifying technology to new buyers.

View original post here:
Electric bus giant Proterra gears up for new market: commercial trucks

AI-powered weather forecasts are improving predictions for smart grids’ energy outputs

August 7, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on AI-powered weather forecasts are improving predictions for smart grids’ energy outputs

National Grid has teamed up with the Alan Turing Institute to use machine learning to more accurately predict generation levels from wind and solar technology.

More:
AI-powered weather forecasts are improving predictions for smart grids’ energy outputs

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 2851 access attempts in the last 7 days.