twardzik

Facing the energy water nexus is critical

Renee Twardzik, Global Communications Manager, GE Water & Process Technologies

There is a complex, and very tangled, tie between energy and water. You need energy to produce water, and you need water to produce energy.  A large portion of the global population, roughly 40%, lives in water-scarce regions. And this number is expected to grow to 50% by 2050. At the same time, population growth and production demands are driving up the need for energy.

Keep reading

The economics of desalination

Renee Twardzik, Global Communications Manager, GE Water & Process Technologies

In a recent article titled, Desalination looks better as water prices rise, author Thomas D. Elias quotes the Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1798, in the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” with the famous words of “Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.” 

In CA, this poem resonates with the challenge California faces amidst a mega-drought conditions despite the fact there is sea water very much accessible to the state.

Elias writes, “But that’s briny saltwater, containing an array of minerals that make it almost as inaccessible today as it was to that parched, fictitious sailor of 200 years ago. But it doesn’t have to stay that way… In short, if the rising price of fresh water ever comes to match a falling cost for purified seawater, expect desalination to begin on a large scale in California.”

Keep reading

Turning a dire situation around in California

Renee Twardzik, Global Communications Manager, GE Water & Process Technologies

In a recent article on Propublica, authors Abrahm Lustgarten, Lauren Kirchner and Amanda Zamora provided a rich overview on why the California drought is part of a much larger water crisis, noting specifically the challenges associated with a depleting water source – the Colorado River basin. The basin is a critical water supply for 7 states, including California, that directly pull water to support their communities’ populations, industrial and agriculture needs. 

While the article discusses a variety of contributing factors to the depletion, including drought, lack of rain, mismanagement of the resource and scalable use, it also cites the progress that California has made and needs to make in order to overcome the dire situation. 

“California has a rich history of implementing innovative solutions to help protect freshwater sources in many communities,” said Andrew Sparkes, municipal sales leader for North America at GE Water & Process Technologies. “We see already many examples that show us that California has the right mindset to make it through this challenging drought.”

Keep reading

Direct potable reuse is starting to win people over

Renee Twardzik, Global Communications Manager, GE Water & Process Technologies

In an opinion poll released earlier in the year, the San Diego County Water Authority found that 73 percent of its population favored the idea of supplementing the drinking water supply with recycled water.

That represents a large shift in previous years where the “ick” factor of toilet-to-tap was too strong to overcome. It is a shift that will not only help offset water usage, but also energy consumption, which in turn will further contribute to protecting the water supply.

Keep reading

Water issues aren’t just local issues anymore

Renee Twardzik, Global Communications Manager, GE Water & Process Technologies

There is a relatively popular saying out there that water scarcity challenges are local, meaning only those that live in water scarce areas are concerned about the water shortages affecting them on a daily basis.

While that seems to make sense at the surface, it is actually a little misleading. That’s because (according to a recent article by CNN), “California is a breadbasket to the nation, growing more than a third of its vegetables and nearly two-thirds of its fruits and nuts.”

Keep reading

Spring break activities that get watered down without water

Renee Twardzik, Global Communications Manager, GE Water & Process Technologies
Camille Hutchinson, Product Communications Leader, GE Water & Process Technologies

It rings true every year that, as the weather starts to change from a cold winter to a mild spring, our minds start to wander to sun-friendly activities and the need to head out on a little spring break. Whether you are a family looking to coincide a vacation with school break, a college student looking to release a little steam, or a couple looking to spark romance in warmer weather, spring is an essential milestone in the year.

But, let’s face it, there are significant drought issues in parts of the country, water scarcity issues growing rapidly around the world, and a looming UN prediction that water will run out by the year 2050 if we make no changes to how we use, reuse and handle fresh water supplies.  

So, that got us thinking, what would happen to spring break if there were serious restrictions for water use, if there were no freshwater sources, groundwater supplies or aquifers full and available for use? Well, we think spring break would look (and feel) a lot different.

Here are 6 ways that water scarcity can impact spring break.

Keep reading