Amy McIntosh | Managing Editor | [email protected]
As we reach the last month of the year, it’s a good time to reflect on the previous 11 months and look forward to 2019.
This has been another year of tumult in terms of water-related events. The 2018 hurricane season was another devastating one, striking particularly hard in Florida and the Carolinas. Water scarcity remained a pervasive issue both in the U.S. and abroad, notably in Cape Town, South Africa, where severe drought threatened a total water shutoff. And as I write this, massive wildfires are spreading across both Northern and Southern California, the heat and debris from which inevitably will have an impact on municipal and private water supplies.
But while a look back often focuses on the hard times, tallying up all the lead contaminations or Legionella outbreaks, it’s rare we take time to highlight what went well. From the volunteers who donate time, money and supplies in the face of natural disasters, to legislation enacted to help mitigate contaminations and encourage infrastructure development and innovation, there is a lot to celebrate.
This year, Water Well Trust completed its 100th well for low-income Americans, and funding is lined up for the completion of several more. Tech billionaire Elon Musk donated nearly $500,000 to fund ultraviolet systems for schools in Flint, Mich. WaterStep, a nonprofit focused on providing people around the world with the tools to tackle unsafe water, mobilized during Hurricane Florence to provide disaster relief kits to those affected by the storm. (For more on WaterStep’s disaster relief initiatives, turn to page 46.)
Federally, the U.S. EPA began accepting applications for loans through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, allowing communities both large and small to finance water infrastructure improvements and create jobs. In October, the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 became law, which includes more than $6 billion in funding for water infrastructure projects and embeds the EPA WaterSense product efficiency program into law.
In WQP’s State of the Industry survey, the outlook generally appears to be optimistic, with many respondents indicating increased customer demand, an intention to expand operations and diversified product offerings.
In the spirit of highlighting the positive in water treatment, WQP invites you to nominate those doing exceptional work to be featured in our March 2019 Faces of the Industry issue. Use the Blippar app on this page for more information about how to nominate a Young Professional or Industry Icon who is going above and beyond in the water treatment industry.