It’s time to hang up your new 2011 calendar and flip to January. As you literally turn a new page, I’m sure many of you have made resolutions to turn a new page of a different sort for the new year, whether it’s practicing healthier eating habits or achieving new professional goals.
One of the best ways to set resolutions that have a better chance of “sticking” is to take stock of and learn from the mistakes or successes of the past year. As I look back over the past 12 months in my own life, along with some achievements I am quite proud of, hindsight reveals some regrettable blunders.
The same could be said for 2010; good and bad, it was certainly an eventful year. There were inspiring moments: the Winter Olympic games in Vancouver, the World Cup in South Africa, the rescue of 33 miners trapped in a Chilean mine, and—depending where you live and how you look at it—the lively November elections. There were also positive events in the industry in 2010: the independent Battelle study demonstrated the benefits softened water has in keeping home appliances functioning.
But the rest of the year seemed to bring one devastating natural disaster after another. One of the deadliest earthquakes on record struck Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, leaving at least 230,000 people dead. Shortly after, on Feb. 27, an earthquake struck Chile, triggering a tsunami across the Pacific. In late April, the Deepwater Horizon oil platform exploded, killing 11 workers, dominating headlines for months and leaving the people and wildlife of the Gulf of Mexico on a long, painful path to recovery. While businesses in the U.S. are still struggling to rebuild economically, the fiscal crisis has jumped to Europe, highlighted by Greece’s 110-billion-euro bailout. Ireland seems to be next, and it remains to be seen how other countries in the European Union will fare.
As we enter 2011 with a tentatively hopeful attitude, the industry is turning back to basics for areas of possible growth. We asked several industry experts for their perspective on the industry for the coming year, and their positive responses are encouraging (page 5). There promises to be even more positive new research presented in the next year on the benefits of softened water, new growth and development in the water reuse market, and a renewed focus on the benefits and necessity of point-of-use water treatment as a solution to public concern about water quality. Efficiency will be even more important this year, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense program recently announced a notification of intent to develop a draft specification for water-efficient, high-performing cation exchange water softeners.
Only time will tell what will emerge as the most important events of 2011, but focusing on these positive opportunities will provide a strategy to overcome whatever challenges are thrown at us. What issues or opportunities do you think will be important in 2011? What are your resolutions for the coming year? Let us know at [email protected].
Everyone at Water Quality Products wishes you all the best both personally and professionally in the new year. Take to heart some wisdom from Benjamin Franklin: “Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.”