Climate legislation in the United States just went up in a cloud of CO2. Again.
Which doesn’t for one second mean the battle is lost.
Regulation may have failed, but thankfully, the free-market surrounding water isn’t waiting for regulations to change. The BlueTech sector is already in position with profitable solutions to mitigate climate change.
The inefficient transportation and treatment of water from source to end-user accounts for 13% of energy use in the United States (and 17% in water-starved California).
As we reported earlier this year, the Carbon Footprint of Water Report calculated that a 5% decrease in infrastructure leaks in the United States would save 270 million gallons of water a day and 313 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually — enough to power 31,000 homes. Not only that, but it’d keep 225,000 metric tons of C02 emissions out of the air.
Meanwhile, cities like Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Seattle are introducing plans to replace aging infrastructure, to the tune of nearly $5 billion. Which is only a portion of the estimated $335 billion national pricetag.
It’s a perfectly timed confluence of events: we’re facing a global crisis. The inefficient water complex – which bears some responsibility for the crisis – is due for an upgrade. Simultaneously, innovation in water efficiency has bloomed.
Throughout the country the BlueTech industry is poised to offer municipalities and water authorities cost-savings and reduced costs to upgrade infrastructure via smart-water systems, efficient water-treatment and stormwater management, and positive revenue streams through resources recovered from waste streams.
As water supply ceases to match demand, new desalination technologies can replace ancient systems to achieve excellent energy efficiencies – often with decreased capital expenditures.
Each of these methods mitigates the causes of climate change by making efficient use of water, thereby making efficient use of energy. Efficient energy use reduces fossil fuel extraction (thereby reducing water usage still further) and reduces the release of pollutants like CO2 and mercury into the atmosphere and water supply.
And each of these methods reduces costs for implementers, either by reducing capital expenditures or by reducing operational costs. They’re a win for the economy and a win for the environment.
To be sure, it’d be helpful if Congress would expedite adoption of clean technology by establishing a firm price signal for pollution. But as American politicians have repeatedly refused, the free market is ready to manage the growing climate and water crises, with or without Congress.