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ITT's Place in the Cycle of Water - Water Solutions

ITT's Place in the Cycle of Water - Water Solutions

Water

Water WorriesWater Recycling and ReuseOnce water is used by industry (for a variety ofpurposes, including cleaning, heating, and cooling), theresulting liquid wastes require specialized treatment,in contrast to the relatively straightforward treatmentof wastewater from residential sources. In anenvironment where the supply of water is increasinglyan issue, a greater emphasis will likely be placed onwater recycling and reuse:• Water recycling normally involves only one user,with the effluent from the user being captured andredirected back into the activity.• Water reuse is the use of treated wastewater forbeneficial purposes, such as agricultural irrigationand industrial cooling.Public-Private PartnershipsEven if water is consumed efficiently and wastewateris recycled, it is still the case that, in many parts of theworld, a significant percentage of distributed waternever reaches the final user because of leakageSuch problems are most acute in long-establishedurban areas with aging infrastructures. Drinking waterpipes can be expected to last between 50 and 100years (depending on their quality, the type of groundthey are laid in, and climate conditions), which meansthat 1% to 2% of the network must be replaced everyyear. In developed countries, including the U.S., mosturban pipe networks were laid at the beginning of thetwentieth century, but replacement work has oftenbeen neglected.ITT’s Place In The Cycle of Water: Everything But The Pipes

Water WorriesWhile significant capital expenditures on waterinfrastructures are now required in many countries, akey issue is financing given that many municipalitieshave charged only nominal amounts for water.One response to the financing issue has been privatesector involvement, a strategy that has been activelypursued in Europe, a region that has relatively highwater prices (see Figure at right).Instead of full privatization of a water system, onepopular option is public-private partnerships. In someof these arrangements, a private operator signs acontract with a government agency to supply services,and a regulator sets the standard for price and quality.Among the advantages of such an arrangement is thatthe private company has the resources to maintainthe water infrastructure, and also has the technicalexpertise to manage the network efficiently.71

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