Technical Issues

For some people, this is a very exciting aspect of any problem. Techno-optimists see a robust successful solution to many problems by just throwing money at technical research and development and waiting patiently for implementable solutions. Techno-pessimists tend to doubt the time frame and economic performance of technology advocates.

So what is in front of our Desalination policymakers now? What do they see on their technology roadmaps?

R4RD has sponsored a cost study to evaluate claims made about Desalination Costs.

For details, click here

A popular graphic shows the cost of desalination falling steadily from a highest competing technology to equivalent of the 6 major options in our water portfolio….over the next decade or so.

A hallmark of advanced leading technology innovation investors is the use of  thinking tools like SEI’s Maturity Curves or Gartner’s HyperGrowth Curves which show the pitfalls that many technology fads follow.

A broader systems perspective considers technology options in context of economic and social dimensions.

With this cautionary background, R4RD has collected a variety of technology innovations relevant to Water Managers and policy advocates.

The family of Nonotechnology appears interesting to us.

Greening technologies appears more interesting because because it connects energy efficiency to water technologies.

In addition, Greening technologies, as a broad category, does not focus on traditional inside-the-box solutions to watershed problems – Pour More Impervious Concrete !!!. Instead it considers a broader ecology of biology and iron solutions that can be significantly cheaper and more effective.

In the end, it is an engineering systems decision. The big advantage we have today compared to a decade ago is the ability to model and simulate these engineering system decisions with computers to arrive at optimal tradeoffs without spending a dime on concrete or iron.

See the work of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on modeling complex technical construction projects:(Bill East)

See the work of the General Services Administration on managing the facility life cycle with green solutions (GSA 3D-4D-BIM):

See a private sector demonstration of green design and construction (Autodesk-LEED-Green Building Studio)