How true is this today?
For a long time, I agreed with my friends in the water and wastewater business, that their assets were largely immune from technological change and that, in fact, such change as we were likely to see, eg, improvements in trenchless technology, would be to their management benefit. However, recent developments throw this easy, and comforting, assumption into question. Prolonged drought in Australia over a number of years has led to many changes to reduce our consumption of water (from the simple brick in the cistern to changing garden design to policies restricting the use of hoses for hosing down driveways and washing cars) and, in Canada, councils are struggling with pricing models that are not able to adjust to demand reduction brought about by environmental conservation. And now, consider the nanotechnological toilet. This is a toilet that does not need water, a sewage system or external power but instead uses nanotechnology to treat human waste, produce clean water and keep smells at bay, which is being developed by a British university.
What other changes (technological, cultural, environmental) are impacting our demand for what is shaping up to be the 21st century’s scarcest resource, and how is our infrastructure changing (or how does it need to change) to meet the challenge?
Again, links are welcome so that we can expand our media awareness, but please provide a brief summary so that following the link is optional, and limit links to two or the system may think that you are spam and throw you out!