Each year much can be learnt from the worlds largest water event SIWI’s World Water Week. This year two big themes emerged:
- Innovations to improve water efficiency
- Smarter ways to create energy out of waste water
Analysts state that by 2025 we will see a 55% increase in water demand worldwide, conversely water scarcity is one of the largest global risks (The World Economic Forum report ‘World Risks 2014’). The impact of this water crisis on business is now critical, already recorded as the second largest financial risk this is only set to get worse.
It is therefore easy to see why the water week themes became such a focus, as brands and businesses create innovative strategies to reduce the gap between water supply and demand. We took a look at some of those innovations, the weird, the great and the wonderful.
Sewage goes clean, wastewater becomes ‘fish food’ and coffee creates energy
- Among the brands leading on water, H&M and Coca-Cola Enterprises are setting goals to be ‘water neutral’ and ‘water leading’ by 2020.
- SABMiller, the worlds second largest beer producer has run a full scale on water innovation technology as they now turn wastewater into fish food trying to close the loop.
- PepsiCo who’s depending on water-intensive production revealed during the Water Week a new tool to measure and manage water risks in regions of Latin America and The Caribbean.
- Recently US-based Algae Systems announced that they found a way of removing hazardous chemicals, transforming algae into clean drinking water and ‘discordantly’, biofuels.
- A project run by UTZ Certified has proven that it’s possible to generate energy from coffee wastewater. The goals of the project were to address environmental and health issues caused by wastewater.
Stockholm Water Prize is said to be the world’s most prestigious water award and this year’s winner is eThekwini Water & Sanitation. eThekwini is argued to be the most progressive water utility in Africa, where they helped connecting 1.3 million people to water pipelines in the South Africa alone. Brands have much to learn from these types of projects and as public private partnerships increases we’re likely to see more wonderful innovation.