“What Water Means to Me” is the theme developed by the United Nations for the 2021 International Water Day on Monday, March 22. Dynamic Water Technologies COO Mike Boyko has dedicated much of his career to water conservation and water-saving technologies. He explains what water means to him, in his own words.
What Water Means to Me
by Dynamic Water Technologies COO Mike Boyko
The phrase “water is life” is widely used in our modern world. Overuse has made it a catchphrase and softened the impact that it should have. The reality on the global stage is that those with water will thrive and those without will suffer and in many cases perish. Global water scarcity is very real.
The United Nations Human Rights Council reported on March 3rd, 2021 that the world water crisis is “getting worse.” David Boyd, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, said in a report presented to the Human Rights Council: “Human use of water, water pollution and the degradation of aquatic ecosystems continue to accelerate because of population growth, economic growth, the climate emergency, land-use change, extractivism, inefficient use of water, and weak planning, regulation and enforcement.”
In the United States, we live in a world drastically undervalues clean water. We wash our cars with drinking water. We water our lawns with drinking water. We literally use potable drinking water in our toilets. All of this is because we pay fractions of a penny per gallon for this precious commodity, so we take it for granted. Water is not a problem until there is none. It is imperative that we all act responsibly and take action to reduce, reuse and recycle all that we can.
I am a strong believer in technology and the role it can play in saving this critical resource. Through the implementation of new methods and techniques we can clean water more efficiently. We can recycle water and reuse water much more effectively. The net benefit of some advanced water treatment systems is dramatic and critically important. The areas we can apply these processes to includes farming, food processing, data centers, power generation, hospitals, hotels, mining, petrochemical plants, steel mills, semiconductor manufacturing and just about every other business you can name. All these examples use water in large volumes and generate large volumes of wastewater.
By using innovative technologies, we can make meaningful improvements in the consumption of water. To make this transition we must support for innovation. Regularly we encounter people who resist change and become obstructionists. The world needs innovation to survive. Through technologies such as ion exchange, capacitive deionization, electrochemical treatment, electrocoagulation, multistage reverse osmosis and others we can significantly improve the efficiency with which we use water and reduce the overall consumption.
Innovation is expected in most industries. People applaud some of the new electric cars. We wait in lines for new cell phones. The world is full of new technological advancements, but water and wastewater are fundamentally still in the dark ages as an industry. Most water treatment solutions are still using the same chemical treatment systems that existed decades ago. We must make significant changes to the science of water treatment if we are to save this resource and provide for cost effective solutions.