Water scarcity issues affect many parts of the country (and the world). What is good is that awareness is growing as we approach a crisis point (Lake Mead, Deadpool, etc.) and as the federal government starts to allocate cash particularly for water infrastructure.
Here are some brief points from GWI's American Water Summit, which was held in January in Los Angeles.
Simply put, the status quo is no longer useful.
It would be simple to assume that this is due to our incapacity to alter behavior given that we have all seen photographs of locations like Lake Mead and its steadily dropping levels. But there is some fascinating data from the US's most water-scarce regions: Despite massive increases in population and economic activity throughout that time, the Metropolitan Water District of Los Angeles and Arizona both use the same amount of water now as they did in 1957. Despite significant per capita usage declines, we still have problems.
Although it is clear that more is being accomplished with fewer resources, 80% of the water in the Colorado River basin is still used for agriculture, and only 2% of the water used by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is recycled. In order to reach LA DWP's target of using 70% local water, considerable investments in treatment, pumping, and piping infrastructure would be necessary. These investments would have a positive impact on all areas of the coverage (AQUA/XYL, MWA, ABB, for example)
Stormwater Capture Is a Top Priority.
Weather events are becoming less frequent but also more intense when they do occur, especially in areas where water is scarce. Due to limited water supplies, rainfall must be collected as much as possible, yet most cities lack the necessary infrastructure to do so. For instance, when such occurrences take place in LA, runoff is directed toward the ocean rather than being retained for use.
Technology has been utilized to build multi-use infrastructure for controlling rainwater to minimize flooding; an excellent example is Malaysia's SMART tunnel, which XYL helped construct. However, water-scarce places need to capture and treat this water, not redirect it.
The Industrials and Automation sector and the suggested industry growth rate could be severely impacted, and additional project delays could result, if there is a general reduction in the industrial production index and a global decline in automation spending as a percentage of total capex.
In various industries, including general industry, automotive, logistics, medical, and aerospace, continued pressure in emerging markets—particularly in nations with lower labor wages—could postpone the introduction of automation. This includes delays in factory modifications.
The pricing of important commodities like oil and natural gas could shift significantly and permanently, which could have a significant effect on upstream, middle, and downstream applications.