About the Author

 

Lyn Corum

Articles by Lyn Corum

Efficiencies at the Water-Energy Nexus

| “The interdependence of water and energy forms a nexus or convergence that means efficiency measures in one area have the potential to produce additional efficiencies in the other, thus benefiting both water and electric utility customers as well as the environment.” American Water – Water-Energy Convergence: Efficiency Challenges and Opportunities Energy efficiency and how to pursue ... READ MORE

Recharging Our Water Resources

| Most states in the US have had long-established groundwater management regulations that all water agencies must comply with, except for California—until it adopted the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014. Agencies outside of the state are paying attention. ... READ MORE

A Wave of Innovation

| Wastewater treatment plants are impacted by the same infrastructure issues as highways, bridges, and municipal water systems. As population increases and permitting requirements are strengthened, there is little room to upgrade and expand. Costs are also prohibitive. New technologies like membrane bioreactors (MBR), however, can fit in the footprint of an existing plant, expand it, and respond to local, regional, and national permitting requirements at the same time. ... READ MORE

How to Evaluate and Manage Pipeline Infrastructure

| Asset management has emerged as a methodology that water agencies have adopted to evaluate and manage their pipeline infrastructure. The profiles of public works and water utility departments discussed in this article reflect how, over the course of 25 years, water agencies have transitioned from replacing a pipe simply because its old to evaluating pipelines regularly, using multiple criteria to decide when and whether first to replace or repair pipelines facing deterioration, even potential catastrophe. ... READ MORE

Pipeline Assessment

| Asset management has emerged as a methodology that water agencies have adopted to evaluate and manage their pipeline infrastructure. The profiles of public works and water utility departments discussed in this article reflect how, over the course of 25 years, water agencies have transitioned from replacing a pipe simply because its old to evaluating pipelines regularly, using multiple criteria to decide when and whether first to replace or repair pipelines facing deterioration, even potential catastrophe. ... READ MORE

Identifying Metering Tools to Prevent Energy Loss

| Researchers at Washington State University had discovered occupants in high-efficiency buildings were so frustrated with unresponsive motion sensors and temperature controls, they had found unconventional solutions to thwart the energy efficiency tools, Smithsonian Magazine reported in late November 2017. ... READ MORE

Metering Enhances Efficiency

| Researchers at Washington State University had discovered occupants in high-efficiency buildings were so frustrated with unresponsive motion sensors and temperature controls, they had found unconventional solutions to thwart the energy efficiency tools, Smithsonian Magazine reported in late November 2017. ... READ MORE

Energy Efficiency for Wastewater Treatment Plants

| Much has changed in recent years in the water and wastewater industries: evolving environmental regulations, increasing oper­ating costs, technology advancements, and improved opportunities for load management, according to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). ... READ MORE

Biogas and Cogeneration

| Biogas has been quietly serving as a fuel for combined heat and power (a.k.a. cogeneration) plants and as a revenue generator for waste treatment facilities, landfills, and dairies for some time, mainly in Europe. But it is becoming more popular here in the US as municipalities and utilities seek out energy cost reductions and base-load electricity sources. ... READ MORE

Biogas and Cogeneration

| Biogas has been quietly serving as a fuel for combined heat and power (a.k.a. cogeneration) plants and as a revenue generator for waste treatment facilities, landfills, and dairies for some time, mainly in Europe. But it is becoming more popular here in the US as municipalities and utilities seek out energy cost reductions and base-load electricity sources. ... READ MORE

Updated Efficiency

| The history of SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) begins with the widespread development of computers in the 1950s. Before manufacturing and remote sites started to grow, people managed the standard control and monitoring processes by hand. As mainframe computers grew in popularity, utilities and industries adopted the concept of supervisory controls. ... READ MORE

Innovations in Smart Window Coverings

| Prior to the fourth century A.D., windows were typically holes in walls, usually covered with animal hides, cloth, wood, or shutters. In some places, translucent animal horns, thin slices of marble, or even paper were set in frameworks of wood, iron, or lead. ... READ MORE

Demand Management

| Technology is creating a slow revolution in the utility industry. Demand management and demand response tools are at the forefront of these changes, allowing utility customers to take charge of their electricity usage. And data analytics is at the heart of these tools. ... READ MORE

Exemplary Efficiencies

| Much has changed in recent years in the water and wastewater industries: evolving environmental regulations, increasing oper­ating costs, technology advancements, and improved opportunities for load management, according to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). ... READ MORE

Solar and Energy Storage Financing for Schools

| Jason Coughlin, a solar analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, was coauthor of a 2011 report, “Solar Schools Assessment and Implementation Project: Financing Options for Solar Installations on K–12 Schools.” “Schools have continued to install solar using power purchase agreements (PPAs) and the trend is to continue seeing third-party installations,” says Coughlin. Three profiles below describe ... READ MORE

Cogeneration Utilizing Natural Gas-fired Reciprocating Engines

| Cogeneration systems, also known as combined heat and power, have traditionally been installed by larger industrial users with high steam and power demands and by smaller, institutional users such as universities and hospitals. Since the early 2000s, smaller industrial and commercial companies have discovered cogeneration utilizing natural gas-fired reciprocating engines, not only for high thermal output but also low maintenance costs, low emissions, and high reliability for onsite generation and standby power. ... READ MORE

Potable Reuse Project Case Studies

| Potable Reuse Project Case Studies: Cloudcroft, NM, is a 110-year old mountain resort community in the southeast corner of New Mexico. Planning for direct potable reuse began immediately, says Powell, and initial construction began in 2005, but issues with contracting stalled the project by 2007. Now back on track, construction bids were released in June to build the membrane bioreactor (MBR) and upgrade the existing wastewater treatment plant. ... READ MORE

Tracking Non-Revenue Water Loss with GIS

| The White House Utility District in Southern Tennessee embarked on a water loss reduction program in 2012 in collaboration with Esri, a geographic mapping and software development company. To date, the utility has saved roughly $500,000 through eliminating water loss and reducing manpower hours. ... READ MORE

Cogeneration Utilizing Natural Gas-fired Reciprocating Engines

| Cogeneration systems, also known as combined heat and power, have traditionally been installed by larger industrial users with high steam and power demands and by smaller, institutional users such as universities and hospitals. Since the early 2000s, smaller industrial and commercial companies have discovered cogeneration utilizing natural gas-fired reciprocating engines, not only for high thermal output but also low maintenance costs, low emissions, and high reliability for onsite generation and standby power. ... READ MORE

A Growing Trend

| Cogeneration systems, also known as combined heat and power, have traditionally been installed by larger industrial users with high steam and power demands and by smaller, institutional users such as universities and hospitals. Since the early 2000s, smaller industrial and commercial companies have discovered cogeneration utilizing natural gas-fired reciprocating engines, not only for high thermal output but also low maintenance costs, low emissions, and high reliability for onsite generation and standby power. ... READ MORE

Preventing Water Loss in Storage Tanks

| A 49-year-old water storage tank leaking water eventually led the town of Chapmanville, WV, to replace its 75-year old water distribution system in 2015. Eventually, it learned that the town's distribution lines were also leaking like sieves. Together, the distribution lines and leaking storage tank were losing more than half of the town's water due to the leaks. ... READ MORE

Glass: A Clear Solution

| Prior to the fourth century A.D., windows were typically holes in walls, usually covered with animal hides, cloth, wood, or shutters. In some places, translucent animal horns, thin slices of marble, or even paper were set in frameworks of wood, iron, or lead. ... READ MORE

Preventing Loss

| A 49-year-old water storage tank leaking water eventually led the town of Chapmanville, WV, to replace its 75-year old water distribution system in 2015. Eventually, it learned that the town's distribution lines were also leaking like sieves. Together, the distribution lines and leaking storage tank were losing more than half of the town's water due to the leaks. ... READ MORE

Maintaining Storage Tanks

| An integral ingredient in maintaining the health of a water supply tank is a good inspection according to tank manufacturers and consultants. In the words of George Mead, municipal sales director with Tank Connection in Parsons, KS, “Nothing fabricated and installed will continue to operate without inspections.” Some states have created regulations requiring water tanks to be ... READ MORE

Financing Solar and Energy Storage in Schools

| Jason Coughlin, a solar analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, was coauthor of a 2011 report, “Solar Schools Assessment and Implementation Project: Financing Options for Solar Installations on K–12 Schools.” “Schools have continued to install solar using power purchase agreements (PPAs) and the trend is to continue seeing third-party installations,” says Coughlin. Three profiles below describe ... READ MORE

Storage Tank Maintenance

| An integral ingredient in maintaining the health of a water supply tank is a good inspection according to tank manufacturers and consultants. In the words of George Mead, municipal sales director with Tank Connection in Parsons, KS, “Nothing fabricated and installed will continue to operate without inspections.” Some states have created regulations requiring water tanks to be ... READ MORE

Report: Direct Potable Reuse

| In a long-awaited report released in September, the California State Water Resources Board concludes that direct potable reuse (DPR) is technically feasible and promises to begin writing the criteria while research continues. The report stresses the fact that "Well-crafted objective criteria that are unambiguous and enable an objective determination of compliance is fundamental to adopting criteria" and is necessary for DPR. ... READ MORE

The Microgrid Market: Growth and Opportunity

| Microgrids are becoming the transformative technology in today’s energy industry, and are putting many utilities on the defensive. A few utilities want to adopt or coopt the technology, depending on one’s perceptions, creating tensions among utility and industry stakeholders. The latter believe microgrid resources can best be delivered by private companies. First, a definition: Microgrids ... READ MORE

Integrating Demand Reduction With Storage and Renewables

| The energy storage business is hot these days. It has become the most talked-about trend in the retail energy business in the past three years with large companies offering new products, and startups introducing newly designed energy storage, software, and hardware packages. The popularity of energy storage is driven by the rapid deployment of renewable resources, ... READ MORE

Gas Turbine Design for Challenging Environments

| Selecting a turbine to fit the environment it will operate in is really all about designing the right air filtration system to protect the gas turbine and compressor components. Filtration systems should be adapted to the specific site conditions to provide the best possible protection and optimized engine performance. There is no “all-in-one” filter. There are typically pre-filters and ... READ MORE

Gas Turbine Design for Challenging Environments

| Selecting a turbine to fit the environment it will operate in is really all about designing the right air filtration system to protect the gas turbine and compressor components. Filtration systems should be adapted to the specific site conditions to provide the best possible protection and optimized engine performance. ... READ MORE

Net Zero Energy Buildings

| Imagine that your company management has told you they are planning to design and build a new headquarters, or retrofit the current building to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified Platinum and net zero energy . . . and they want you to make it happen. ... READ MORE

Turning Data into Action

| Energy management systems have evolved as the electricity industry has evolved with digital communications making data analytics, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) possible. And, it has created opportunities for new companies to compete with the big guys. Those giants have provided quality service to clients over the years. ... READ MORE

Building Controls: The Heart of Energy Efficiency

| Digital technology has created a revolution in building controls, relegating old pneumatic instruments to the antique shops along with typewriters and calculating machines. Now, a control system can allow a technician to turn fans on or off, and/or modify temperatures or lighting in a structure from a tablet or laptop while he is offsite. The company profiles covered in this article illustrate the myriad possibilities. Below is a brief description of the three building control systems being... ... READ MORE

Microgrids on the March

| Microgrids are becoming the transformative technology in today’s energy industry, and are putting many utilities on the defensive. A few utilities want to adopt or coopt the technology, depending on one’s perceptions, creating tensions among utility and industry stakeholders. The latter believe microgrid resources can best be delivered by private companies. First, a definition: Microgrids are localized grids ... READ MORE

Innovation Ups Irrigation IQ

| All growers want to see their crops, gardens, and landscapes flourish. Competition among manufacturers of irrigation controllers, sensors, and flow meters is driving innovation at high speed in this digital age, to satisfy the market. ... READ MORE

Energy Storage Solutions Behind-the-Meter

| Sharp Electronics Corporation, a US subsidiary of Osaka-based Sharp Corporation, formed Energy Systems and Services Group (ESSG), which entered the market in 2014 with the launch of the SmartStorage behind-the-meter scalable energy storage system. Designed to reduce peak demand charges in commercial and industrial buildings, Carl Mansfield, general manager and founder of ESSG, says the ... READ MORE

Microgrids For Industry

| The City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Redevelopment Authority and the Century City Redevelopment Corporation, along with financial help from other city and federal agencies, have developed an 86-acre regional business park to attract advanced manufacturing companies and to create jobs in the greater Milwaukee area. Microgrids will form a core part of the park’s infrastructure. The Century City Business Park, with $40 million ... READ MORE

How the Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) Was Developed

| Finding Perfect Harmony Peter Hammond, now a consulting engineer with Siemens, thought a lot about how to solve a serious problem with medium-voltage VFDs in the late 1980s when he was with Robicon. He had been designing low-voltage VFDs for many years. Then a solution occurred to him as the company, now owned by Siemens, had been ... READ MORE

Microgrid & Microturbine Power Trends

| There are interesting developments happening with microgrids these days. Utilities are adding them to stabilize their grids, and communities are developing a peer-to-peer consumer energy trading system to buy and sell electricity generated by their solar systems. Microgrids have also become the hottest concept as alternatives to the aging utility grid—passing up distributed generation and smart grids—as ... READ MORE

Energy Storage Systems in Microgrids

| The Borrego Springs microgrid is perhaps the best-known microgrid in the energy industry, and it is being expanded. The desert town of Borrego Springs is located in eastern San Diego County. It has four golf courses, no stoplights, a tourist-driven economy, and is served by a single electric transmission line at the end of SDG&E’s grid system. SDG&E built the microgrid to provide service to Borrego Springs’ 3,000 electric customers because ... ... READ MORE

How an Energy Manager and Smart Controls Can Save Millions

| School District Reduces Costs The Las Cruces School District, the second largest in New Mexico, is made up of six high schools, 25 elementary schools, and eight middle schools that are educating 24,000 students. Since the district is located in the hot Southwest, cooling is the biggest electrical load it faces. By working with an energy ... READ MORE

Net Zero Energy

| Imagine that your company management has told you they are planning to design and build a new headquarters, or retrofit the current building to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified Platinum and net zero energy . . . and they want you to make it happen. ... READ MORE

Solar + Storage

| Constellation, based in Baltimore and long known as a seller of electricity, natural gas and other fuels, is owned by Chicago-based Exelon Corp. Constellation’s Distributed Energy Group and has 300 distributed generation projects completed or under development, including 200 MW of behind-the-meter solar projects for commercial customers. A combination of cogeneration, fuel cells, and energy ... READ MORE

Water Reuse and Sustainability Attract Industries

| Writing in its 2012 "Guidelines for Water Reuse," EPA acknowledges that "energy efficiency and sustainability are key drivers of water reuse which is why water reuse is so integral to sustainable water management." Furthermore, "the water-energy nexus recognizes that water and energy are mutually dependent." ... READ MORE

Water Agencies Tackle Pipe Replacement and Financial Decisions

| Declaring that the replacement era was upon us, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) published, “Buried No Longer: Confronting America’s Water Infrastructure Challenge,” in 2012. The report says restoring existing water systems as they reach the end of their useful lives and expanding them to serve a growing population will cost at least $1 trillium over the ... READ MORE

Demand Response Is Now Big Business – Part 1

| While demand response programs can be traced back to the 1970s, the evolution of IT and data management technology has allowed utilities and independent system operators to greatly expand demand response programs in the last 10 years. This expansion has allowed the parties, including companies offering demand resource products, to create protocols that allow machine-to-machine ... READ MORE

Water Utilities Turn to Trenchless Technologies

| Trenchless technologies, developed over the past 30 years, have become the first choice for many water agencies to greatly reduce the cost of replacing corroded and deteriorating water and sewer lines and, instead, reline or rehabilitate them. According to Todd Grafenauer, Education Director with Murphy Pipeline Contractors headquartered in Jacksonville, FL, trenchless technologies date from the 1970s in the United Kingdom when British Gas discovered the majority of its pipelines were reach... ... READ MORE

Automation and the Internet of Things

| The Internet has made possible a revolution in power controls—a revolution often referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). Until it—and the fiber optics that connect us all—came along, plant machines operated in their own universes, leaving facility engineers unable to understand how whole plants work together, and unable to find operating efficiencies. That phrase, the Internet ... READ MORE

What’s New in Drives, Pumps, and Motors?

| The Internet has made possible a revolution in power controls—a revolution often referred to as The Internet of Things (IoT). Until it—and the fiber optics that connect us all—came along plant machines operated in their own universes, leaving facility engineers unable to understand how whole plants work together, and unable to find operating efficiencies. ... READ MORE

California Looks to Water Reuse to Alleviate Drought

| Interest in water reuse has picked up momentum in the past several years, especially in the areas where drought has become a long-lasting issue (think California and Texas) or where environmental regulations are forcing changes (think Florida). Brown and Caldwell is a water reuse leader who works with water agencies nationally. But Wendy Broley, in ... READ MORE

The Future of Microgrid Markets

| Microgrids are becoming the transformative technology in today's energy industry, and are putting many utilities on the defensive. A few utilities want to adopt or coopt the technology, depending on one's perceptions, creating tensions among utility and industry stakeholders. The latter believe microgrid resources can best be delivered by private companies. ... READ MORE

Reader Profile: Michael Mecke

| Mike Mecke, a native of San Antonio, TX, has devoted his professional life to improving agricultural management, land stewardship, and water resources conservation. He retired to the Texas hill country outside of Kerrville in 2008 but maintains an active professional life teaching and serving on the boards of directors of nonprofit organizations he cofounded. Mecke graduated ... READ MORE

Water Reuse—Finding the Holy Grail

| Interest in water reuse has picked up momentum in the past several years, especially in the areas where drought has become a long-lasting issue (think California and Texas) or where environmental regulations are forcing changes (think Florida). ... READ MORE

Water Utilities Face Development and Drought

| Being smart about how we grow and doing more with less" sums up the philosophy of the Las Vegas Valley Water District as it faces development in the Las Vegas Valley, according to Bronson Mack, a spokesman for the water district. ... READ MORE

Demand Response Is Now Big Business
– Part 4

| The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages 85% of the state’s high-voltage bulk electricity grid and offers three demand response programs: load resources, under-frequency load shed, and emergency response. Large industrial customers such as petrochemical and air separator companies, pipelines, and oil field services participate in load resources, says Paul Wattles, a senior analyst for market design and development at ERCOT. End users sign contracts with Qualified Scheduling Entities, or QSEs (the Texas equivalent of aggregators), which offer the load reduction to ERCOT. Wattles says there are now 125 QSEs that manage demand response for ERCOT. ... READ MORE

Demand Response Is Now Big Business
– Part 3

| Kilroy Realty has 15 commercial office buildings under contract with EnerNOC—in the San Francisco Bay area, in the greater Los Angeles area, and in the Ventura area north of Los Angeles. Sara Neff, vice president of sustainability at Kilroy Realty, says only HVAC equipment is curtailed when a load reduction signal is received from EnerNOC. By increasing HVAC temperatures two or three degrees, fan speeds are reduced, hot water pumps are shut down, and chillers ramp down, she says. ... READ MORE

Demand Response Is Now Big Business – Part 2

| There are a broad range of demand response programs across utilities and ISOs, and, while parameters differ, all offer payments for energy, capacity, or economic response. Rich Quattrini, director of Strategic Development in the Integrated Demand Resources group at Johnson Controls, says there are standby programs offering either or both capacity and energy payments, and economic load response programs. Economic response occurs when electricity prices are high and customers are exposed to an hourly price signal. Johnson Controls monitors hourly markets for its customers and automatically engages customers when there is enough value to make a reduction worth their while, says Quattrini. ... READ MORE

Cleaning Pipes Made Easier—With Ice

| All water and sewer pipes need to be cleaned once in a while. Biofilm develops along the walls of water pipes, iron and manganese flake off into potable water and discolor it, and grit and sediment creep in. In sewer mains, flow may become restricted due to depressed sections or corners of bends that collect deposits. These buildups may reduce water flow, leaving water quantity inadequate for both firefighting and increased residential or commercial building. ... READ MORE

Building Controls: The Heart of Energy Efficiency

| Digital technology has created a revolution in building controls, relegating old pneumatic instruments to the antique shops along with typewriters and calculating machines. Now, a control system can allow a technician to turn fans on or off, and/or modify temperatures or lighting in a structure from a tablet or laptop while he is offsite. The company profiles covered in this article illustrate the myriad possibilities. Below is a brief description of the three building control systems being used in the organizations profiled. ... READ MORE

Demand Response Companies Enhance Customer Visibility and Control

| The technological services of demand response companies such as Johnson Control’s GridConnect utilize Web-based portals that provide energy-consumers easy access as well as greater demand response participation. Centered upon demand side management, accessibility, and information gleaned from a summarized dashboard facilitates both price-based decisions in addition to efficient energy management policies. Other companies such as ... READ MORE

Demand Response Companies Enhance Customer Visibility and Control

| The technological services of demand response companies such as Johnson Control's GridConnect utilize Web-based portals that provide energy-consumers easy access as well as greater demand response participation. Centered upon demand side management, accessibility and information gleaned from a summarized dashboard facilitates both price-based decisions in addition to efficient energy management policies. Other companies such as EnerNOC, Inc. offer management solutions through energy intelligence softwar... ... READ MORE

Cleaning Pipes Made Easier With Ice

| All water and sewer pipes need to be cleaned once in a while. Biofilm develops along the walls of water pipes, iron and manganese flake off into potable water and discolor it, and grit and sediment creep in. In sewer mains, flow may become restricted due to depressed sections or corners of bends that collect deposits. These buildups may reduce water flow, leaving water quantity inadequate for both firefighting and increased residential or commercial building. Flushing and pigging are the co... ... READ MORE

Greening the Urban Water Supply

| According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), cities and suburbs are among the largest sources of water pollution in many parts of the US. ... READ MORE

Greening the Urban Water Supply

| According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), cities and suburbs are among the largest sources of water pollution in many parts of the US. As Lawrence Levine wrote in his NRDC Issue Brief, "Waste Less, Pollute Less: Using Urban Water Conservation to Advance Clean Water Act Compliance," these cities and suburbs face hundreds of billions of dollars in investment needs to repair, maintain, and improve their infrastructure with Clean Water Act standards that protect public health ... ... READ MORE

Islands in the Storms

| The microgrid is a disruptive technology. It can provide reliability, resiliency, and security of supply for the community it serves, whether it is a college campus, a military base, or a neighborhood. It can also benefit the distribution grid. But states and regulatory agencies are struggling with how to integrate microgrids into the utility grid at the same time they see an aging utility grid greatly in need of innovation. Hurricane Sandy handed Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts a ... ... READ MORE

Australia’s Drought Ends As California’s Begins

| Days before California Governor Jerry Brown declared a drought in the state, water officials and stakeholders met at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), on January 13, for the US-Australia Dialogue: "The Coming Water Crisis: Solutions and Strategies." According to a statement by UCLA and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs when introducing the symposium to address water concerns for a warming planet: "Technological advancements in both countries will lessen some of the ... ... READ MORE

Demand Response Is Now Big Business

| This expansion has allowed the parties, including companies offering demand resource products, to create protocols that allow machine-to-machine communication and automate the operation of demand response programs, beginning with the application process as well as the business process downstream. In an interview prepared for a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) national action plan on demand response, Pete Langbein, manager of demand response operations at PJM, which operates the ... ... READ MORE

Savings in Buildings in All Kinds of Weather

| Twenty years ago "We didn't have integrated building designs," says Kent Peterson, vice president and chief engineer with P2S Engineering in Long Beach, CA. Back then, architects would design a building shell and hand over the designs to engineers who would devise mechanical and electrical systems to condition and light the space. But no more! Now architects and engineers collaborate on the building envelope, windows, cooling, and ventilation systems to create a highly energy-efficient and ... ... READ MORE

New Ways to Manage Air Flow and Cooling for Data Centers

| A quiet revolution in the past five years spurred by escalating energy costs in data centers has produced innovations going beyond energy efficiency. These include free cooling, and data center infrastructure management software, both of which have led to lower power costs. A move to cloud computing and independent data centers has also brought changes. The push for energy efficiency came in 2007 from The Green Grid, a non-profit global consortium founded by a group of companies dedicated... ... READ MORE

Commercial Demand Management

| A 14-year drought in the Southwest has put immeasurable stress on the Colorado River Basin and its capability to deliver water to the 40 million people living in the seven states that receive the water. This population is expected to double by 2060, according to the US Bureau of Reclamation that manages the water supply in the basin. The Colorado River Basin provides water to Arizona, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. The two lakes where the water is stored are cur... ... READ MORE

Pipes: Locate and Evaluate

| By Lyn Corum Water agencies are growing ever more sophisticated in their adoption of new technologies and information systems to digitally map their piping infrastructures, initiate inspection and replacement schedules, and maintain them through a sophisticated geographic information system, or GIS. Many of the water agencies are relying on the new technologies, developed by private companies, to control costs as they face aging infrastructures. These agencies are finding that once they know what needs ... ... READ MORE

Lighting the Way to Efficiency

| Larry Fabina, the coordinator of energy reduction for ArcelorMittal USA's 20 steel plants across the country, began looking at induction lighting six years ago, but found it prohibitively expensive for large installations. In the last couple of years, the price for these lamps dropped, he reports, and after comparing their costs and attributes with light-emitting diodes (LEDs), his Burns Harbor facility began installing induction lighting in parking lots, interior high bays, walkways, doorw... ... READ MORE

SWAT Leads the Way

| The US Environmental Protection Agency says residential outdoor water use in the United States accounts for more than 7 billion gallons of water each day, mainly for landscape irrigation. Experts estimate that as much as 50% of this water is wasted due to overwatering caused by inefficiencies in irrigation methods and systems. Irrigation control technologies can significantly reduce overwatering by applying water only when plants need it. Replacing a standard clock timer with an EPA WaterSe... ... READ MORE

Repair, Then Replace

| "The nation's drinking water infrastructure, especially the underground pipes that deliver safe water to America's homes and businesses, is aging and in need of significant reinvestment," according to "Buried No Longer", a 2012 American Water Works Association (AWWA) report. "Buried No Longer" reveals that the costs to replace our aging water infrastructure tops out at $1 trillion over the next 25 years if we are to maintain current levels of water service. The report broadens a smaller ... ... READ MORE

Prepping and Planning

| The Brevoort-a 20-story, 1950s-era co-op in the heart of Greenwich Village in New York City, NY-did not go dark when Superstorm Sandy struck Manhattan on October 29, 2012. All of the power on lower Fifth Avenue was lost, but the co-op stood bright among its dark neighbors, thanks to the 400-kW Tecogen natural gas-fired cogeneration system installed in 2010 that powered the entire building until Consolidated Edison's power was restored five days later. The natural gas supply sy... ... READ MORE

Instructional Efficiency

| The two universities and a public school system profiled here are taking command of their energy use in a way that reveals a phenomenal sophistication and innovation in their use of technologies to reduce and monitor campus energy demand, while integrating student education about energy use into campus infrastructure. They are installing solar systems to reduce peak demand, but these systems are a small part of the effort to submeter and monitor campus equipment and, in one case, to ... ... READ MORE

Questions, Questions, Questions

| When your agency or company decides to install a water tank, the decision is not as straightforward as you might think. You have a variety of choices and decisions. The size may dictate the type. Will it be fiberglass, prestressed concrete, welded precast steel, bolted steel, glass-fused steel, or stainless steel? Will it be underground or aboveground? What will you be storing--potable water, rainwater, stormwater, or wastewater? Have you analyzed life-cycle costs? Analyzing life-cycle costs... ... READ MORE

Motivation and Education

| "W e don't believe everyone should have irrigation. We have found that behavior change produces the best savings and technology can help." -Dana Nichols, Manager Outdoor Programs, San Antonio Water New-and-improved wireless controllers, innovative subsurface irrigation systems, improved rotator nozzles, decoder technology, and sophisticated soil sensors are among the newest technologies being marketed by the leading irrigation systems manufacturers. But that's not the whole story in ... ... READ MORE

21st Century Technology

| "The new technologies are automating data collection and the correlation process without field activities. This is reducing the time and expense of labor, equipment, and transportation costs. This is a big deal to utilities." --Dean Slejko, Water Products Manager, Aclara From Pitometers to magnetic pod loggers, leak detection has been transformed in the past decade by new technologies so much so that non-revenue water loss can now be detected and repairs scheduled without the utility ... ... READ MORE

Irrigation Technology on the Move

| In 2002, irrigation technology was on the verge of entering the digital age. Doug Bennett, conservation manager at the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), recalls a conversation with a colleague earlier in 2001, lamenting the lack of progress in improving irrigation scheduling. Innovative fringe companies, he says, were making smart controllers, but they were struggling to survive. "The big manufacturers had no idea of the water challenges in the US and how to work together," says Benne... ... READ MORE

Energized Efficiency

| The opportunities and challenges the water industry is facing have not been recognized by many in the industry, says Terry Brueck, President and CEO of EMA, Inc., a consulting firm for water utility operations and management. Many utilities are not able to get a good handle on their baseline energy use and what it foretells for their future. Consumption will continue to increase for most of these utilities without them doing anything differently. Brueck says the challenge is getting suffici... ... READ MORE

Reducing Cost and Heading Off Disaster

| George Kunkel, labeled by at least one industry insider as the "godfather of leak detection," has overseen the City of Philadelphia's leak detection surveys for the past 30 years. It may be the oldest leak detection program in the US, but, fitting for what is arguably the oldest water distribution system in the country, it is 200 years old. Kunkel has also served on the American Water Works Association (AWWA) Water Loss Control Committee, which developed the Water Audit Software. This softw... ... READ MORE

A New Old Water Source

| It is a simple technology. Rain can be captured from rooftops in a simple rain barrel or in a complex cistern system holding many thousand gallons of water. The revival of rainwater harvesting in the US began in the 1990s, driven by two movements. The US Clean Water Act, first enacted in 1972, created regulations to clean up the rivers and lakes throughout the country. Starting in 1990, the EPA began requiring municipalities to obtain permits to prevent harmful pollutants from being washed ... ... READ MORE

Epitome of Efficiency

| Globally, recycled water has been used since ancient times, but the US has traditionally not embraced it outside the Southwest, California in particular. That is changing as these first two profiles indicate. Water reuse has also attracted large, well-known engineering and manufacturing companies as executives with Black & Veatch, General Electric, and Pall Corporation reveal below. Loudoun, Virginia Loudoun Water, a water and wastewater utility located in the county it is named after i... ... READ MORE

Corp-Print

| "Economic factors are driving the interest in water efficiency in American industry. If you're not green, you're wasting money. Being green is about being careful and thoughtful about expenses and not wasting water you pay for, like potable water." - Jack Wittman, Director of the hydrogeology group at Layne Christensen. Global water shortages amidst rising populations, rapid economic growth creating increasing demands for water in developing countries, and climate change are creating great challenges, ... ... READ MORE

Financing Lean Times

| With the financial meltdown in the fall of 2008 and the disappearance of about a dozen financial institutions, lending for distributed generation—in particular solar and wind—and energy efficiency projects virtually dried up, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), signed into law early in 2009, has reversed this situation to a certain extent. Dollars for ... READ MORE

Awarding Initiative

| Aurora Water, 60 years old in 2009, has recently won multiple awards for the quality of its drinking water. It provides that water to more than 310,000 people living in Aurora, CO. The city's water supply comes primarily from three river basins--the Colorado, Arkansas, and South Platte--and is stored in nine reservoirs. It built its Griswold Water Treatment Plant, in 1968, and the Wemlinger Treatment Plant, in 1986. The department also has two wastewater facilities. In ... ... READ MORE

The New Core Technology

| The wide acceptance of renewable energy resources and their introduction into both utility and distributed generation mixes is mandating the development of new kinds of energy storage for a variety of reasons, the least of which is to smooth out generation delivery. Energy storage can also reduce the amount of new generation and transmission capacity ... READ MORE

AMI in NYC

| When New York City's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) made the decision in 2005 to replace the 400,000 residential meters that had been installed between 1988 and 1997, it realized it was also the most advantageous time to install an advanced metering infrastructure along with new meters. Such an infrastructure would solve a problem that had dogged the department for years--getting beyond the 85% meter read rate. A modern Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)/automatic meter rea... ... READ MORE

Recycling for Sustenance

| Dependent on water from the north and east, the pipeline gets smaller, metaphorically speaking, as one travels toward the southern tip of the state. Communities and water agencies have dedicated themselves to local water sustainability, putting great emphasis not only on conservation, but water recycling. The Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County are making a major contribution to these efforts. The Shape of the Agency The Sanitation Districts consist of 24 independent special district... ... READ MORE

The Secret of Efficient Generation

| Roman sawmills dating to the 3rd–6th century AD have been discovered with what might be described as the first, albeit very rudimentary, model for a reciprocating engine. A crank-connecting rod mechanism converted the rotary motion of the waterwheel into the linear movement of the saw blades, according to three authors writing in the Journal of ... READ MORE

Necessity Breeds Invention

| The drought in California that began in 1987 and continued into the early 1990s was the catalyst for integrated resource planning at California water agencies. Much of the new demand and forecasting software technology grew out of the demand for water resource and conservation forecasting tools. With droughts now affecting areas east of the 100th meridian, utilities across the country are realizing the importance of what California found critical in planning its water future. In 1991, nearl... ... READ MORE

Greening a School District

| The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) lays claim to having one of the lowest utility costs per student in the country. It first initiated an energy efficiency program in 1994, and to date, the district has saved nearly $131.8 million in avoided energy costs. Today, its 220 educational facilities make up the second largest ... READ MORE

Tooling Up for Drought Planning

| There have been droughts throughout history as Paleoclimatology tree ring investigations have discovered. In the 1200s in the Southwest United States in Anasazi territory, the drought lasted for multiple decades because of extremely low precipitation, according to Richard Heim, a meteorologist with the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in North Carolina, one of the divisions of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In the 1930s, the drought in the Midwest lasted a d... ... READ MORE

Economizers and Emissions

| Among the innovative energy technologies developed this decade, condensing economizers offer the opportunity for plant owners and operators not only to reduce fuel usage, but also to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in particular carbon dioxide (CO 2 ). Intended to reduce energy consumption-although they can be designed to perform additional functions, like preheating fluid or fuel-economizers can be simply defined as heat exchangers, available for boilers, power plants, and even HVAC systems.  Whe... ... READ MORE

Turning Onion Juice Into a Power House

| Rising energy and waste disposal costs are plaguing California's vibrant and valuable food processing industry. Gills Onions invested time and research to identify technologies that will eliminate and reduce those costs. Steven Gill and his brother David have been growing onions on 15,000 acres of their family-owned land in southern California for 25 years, along with other vegetables. Moreover, Steven Gill has a special affinity for finding technologies that can grow the business and manage it more eff... ... READ MORE

Wind on the Edge

| Rising 50 stories above the Arabian Gulf, the twin towers of the Bahrain World Trade Center offer a spectacular view of three spinning wind turbines 29 meters in length, spanning the open space between the two towers, gripping their sides, and holding them upright. Activated in April 2008, the wind turbines provide about 15% of the building's electricity. The rest of the world will likely not be able to afford such awesome wind systems, but, in the past five years, some very inventive startup companies ... ... READ MORE

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