Opportunities at the Energy-Water Nexus: Leveraging Water Treatment Technologies for Efficiency, Economic Prosperity and Sustainability In the 21st Century
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Water treatment is an essential part of creating sustainable potable water supplies and enabling industry and economic development around the world, and demand for water is increasing every year. By 2030, power and industrial needs will constitute 22 percent of global water demand, and forty percent of this growth will be driven by China alone. Technologies such as reverse osmosis, nanofiltration and ultrafiltration are allowing engineers to maximize the quality and quantity of available clean water while helping lower associated capital and operational costs. Desalination, contaminant removal and water reuse applications are continuously becoming more energy-efficient through lower feed pressures, greater active membrane areas and smaller system footprints. In addition to saving energy, water treatment and processing technologies are helping to generate cleaner, more reliable forms of energy through biofuels processing and nuclear applications. Innovations in research and development are quickly evolving water treatment options and helping to change the way we approach water and energy – today and into the future.