World Water Day and Twenty Years Later

There is no doubt that World Water Day has reached the masses (see UN’s map of events).  Twenty years ago this month, the United Nations General Assembly designated the 22nd of March 1993 as the first World Water Day. And each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater.  This year it was all about water cooperation and this theme spoke to us as a company culture.

Water & Graphics: From Scarcity to Solution
Coincidentally, we have just celebrated our 20th year as a company.  To underscore our anniversary and to honor World Water Day, we created this info-graphic. We thought it might be interesting to graphically depict how our efforts to help streamline costs for our clients in desalination have affected fresh water availability and CO2 reduction (as in kWh/year).   Let’s break it down a bit to see what we found:

  • Most of us in the desalination industry know that our fresh water resources amount to a meek 3.5% and saltwater (oceans and seas) amounts to 96.5%.  Hint hint: we need more fresh water resources than current output can provide.
  • The chasm between those who have safe drinking water versus those that don’t = 780 million people (that’s 10 percent of the population, and 3.6 million people still die each year due to water borne diseases).
  • If we doubled the amount of desalination plant capacity over four years, as an industry, we could provide this much more safe drinking water for the ever increasing population:  149.8 billion liters.

A few green industry, clean tech bloggers found it useful as well.  See here for a few of the many write-ups on the info-graphic: Earthtechling, Mother Nature Network, and Inhabitat.

With the introduction of energy recovery devices (ERDs) at desal plants around the globe, we and our esteemed industry partners have made this undertaking vastly more affordable…and energy efficient (a.k.a. lowers the industry’s aggregate carbon footprint).  Our badges of honor – and facts that make us at Energy Recovery want to come to work each day – are the DNA of this company:

  • Energy Recovery ERDs now produce 10 billion liters of fresh water per day, and we are
  • Saving 12 billion kWh of energy per year (that’s more than the entire energy consumption of some countries …Tunisia, Ecuador, and Zimbabwe…to name a few)

Yes we are a for-profit, publicly traded company.  But when we talk profit and planet, we can have our cake and eat it too.  As for the creators of UN World Water Day, thank you for keeping water in our hearts and minds.  Let’s blow out the candles together!