Hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as fracking, is a method of extracting natural gas from shale formations. Fracking has been around for many years, but recently, combining it with horizontal drilling has made it economically practical for gas extraction. While natural gas presents the U.S. with options to become more energy independent, there also are concerns about the process’s impact on the environment.
Fracking’s potential effects on drinking water supplies
Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) brings two of our most precious natural resources at odds. The natural gas harvested through the process is essential to meeting our country’s growing energy needs (and is a source of clean energy at that). However, poorly constructed wells or improper disposal of wastewater from fracking operations can potentially affect drinking water quality. There have been reports of methane migrating from drilling operations into drinking water sources — contamination that not only could render water undrinkable, but also cause a potential explosion hazard.
Results indicate that people in China are more concerned with water quality and availability
GE announced the results of a consumer water reuse survey. Based on 3,000 online interviews, the water reuse survey was conducted by GE in partnership with StrategyOne and examined consumer attitudes in three countries: China, Singapore and the U.S. The survey provides a comprehensive view of how residents of each country view water reuse and their willingness to support the protection and recycling of water.
This spring, Richard Mest, president of Master Water Conditioning Corp., was elected president of the Water Quality Assn. (WQA). Water Quality Products Managing Editor Kate Cline recently spoke with Mest about what is in store in the next year for WQA and the water quality industry.
Kate Cline: What opportunities do you see in the coming year for this industry?
New WQA President Richard Mest on the state of the industry
USGS study shows nation's aquifers being drawn down at an accelerating rate
A new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study entitled "Groundwater Depletion in the U.S. (1900-2008)" comprehensively evaluates long-term cumulative depletion volumes in 40 separate aquifers (distinct underground water storage areas) in the U.S., bringing together reliable information from previous references and new analyses.
Analysis finds that educating end users on products’ benefits lowers resistance to new technology
Deteriorating water quality and technological innovations have given a huge boost to the water treatment equipment market in both residential and commercial segments in the Asia-Pacific region. People's desire for clean water and rising environmental consciousness in the wake of greater urbanization, pollution and occurrence of natural disasters have all ensured higher uptake of water treatment equipment.
As concern for the environment moves ever closer to the forefront of public and media attention, the water treatment industry has been subjected to criticism. Reverse osmosis (RO) systems and softeners have been accused of wasting water and contributing to salinity problems, and producers of bottled water vie with filter manufacturers over which option is greener.
New standards provide sustainability certification for carbon products
If you attended the WQA Aquatech USA 2013 tradeshow in Indianapolis in April, you heard about many exciting topics, but probably none that have been in the works for as long as the septic study. After more than 10 years in the making, the Water Quality Research Foundation published results from the Environmental Impact Study that was funded to investigate the effects residential ion exchange water softeners may have on the performance of onsite septic tanks.
Septic study results show systems working together efficiently
U.S. bottled water consumption increases 6.2% in 2012; sales up 6.7%
The International Bottled Water Assn. (IBWA), in conjunction with Beverage Marketing Corp. (BMC) has released 2012 bottled water statistics, compiled by BMC, a research, consulting and financial services firm dedicated to the global beverage industry. The new data show that the overall consumption of bottled water increased by 6.2% and bottled water sales were up 6.7%.
With another year on the books, it is time to look ahead to 2013. As always, the water treatment industry will face a variety of challenges and opportunities in the coming months. Domestically, new regulations loom — some positive, some negative — as California continues to set the legislative tone for the nation. Globally, opportunties await for companies ready to take the international plunge, but the challenges of certification remain.
Industry experts weigh in on what is to come in 2013