News Article | January 11, 2016
Another successful year for the green bond market with 2015 issuance hitting $41.8bn making it the biggest year ever for green bonds.Achieving scale hasn’t been the only reason to celebrate the green bond market at the year-end; the real success is the geographical spread of green bonds across the world. Green bond markets are popping up all across the world, in Brazil, China, Estonia, Mexico and India… just to name a few!Now we did push hard in 2015 to get $100bn issuance of green bonds out over the year; although the market has not yet hit our ambitious target, there is no doubt that green “shoots” of green bond markets are spreading far and wide. This was ever present at the Paris COP in December 2015 where green bonds were highlighted as a key tool in many of the Climate Finance side-events.Check out our COP blog for more details.Similar to 2014, the entry of more corporates, banks, and municipalities into the green bond market bolstered growth in 2015. There was also a widening of the type of projects financed by green bonds with more proceeds leveraged for other green sectors outside of the renewable energy space, in particular low carbon transport and sustainable water.Building up to and post COP21, strong political commitment to grow local green bond markets has driven the global green bond market towards increasing involvement in emerging markets. In 2015, China and India have both had inaugural green bond issuances, and considered policy support. China published official green bond guidelines in December, and India have also started developing official guidelines.India led with an inaugural green bond from Yes Bank, (INR 1000 crore, AA+, 10 yrs), followed by Export-Import Bank of India ($500m, BBB-, 5 yrs); CLP Wind Farms (INR 6bn, AA, 3-5yr), and lastly IDBI ($350m, BBB-, 5 yrs).China wasn’t far behind with its first corporate green bond (issued offshore in Hong Kong) from Goldwind ($300m, 3 yrs). Agricultural Bank of China then issued the first finance sector green bond in three tranches RMB600m, $400m, and $500m (A, 2-5 yrs).The US green bond market has been relatively slow to adopt the independent review model prevalent in other green bond markets (with the exception of DC Water, which got a Vigeo second review). Instead US issuers tend to use proxies such a green building certification to identify green projects, for example leveraging LEED to identify low carbon buildings.However, this year there was a small shift towards the independent review model Europe uses, with Morgan Stanley providing a review for its inaugural green bond ($500m, BBB+), followed by Renovate America ($201.5m, AA) and U.S. municipal bonds (Central Puget Sound Transit ($942.8m, AAA, 3-35 yrs); DC Water ($100m, AA, 3-12 yrs)). We expect this trend to continue in 2016.Certified green bonds have been issued by Mexico’s Nacional Financiera ($500m, BBB, 5 yrs); ABN AMRO (€500m, A, 5 yrs); ANZ (AUD600m, AA-, 5 yrs) and NAB ($300m, AA-, 7 yrs); and a number of smaller retail bonds from BELECTRIC in the UK. Certification provides assurance that proceeds are used for assets aligned with a low carbon and climate resilient economy.Growing investor demand, particularly by institutional investors and corporate treasuries, continues to result in over subscriptions as well as pledges to invest billions more capital into green bonds.2015 commitments to invest in green bonds include: EUR 1bn by ACTIAM, EUR 1bn by Deutsche Bank, $1bn by HSBC, £2bn by Barclays, $2bn by Zurich Insurance and EUR 1bn by KfWFurther to these commitments, specific green bond mandates or funds are being managed by AXA, SEB Investment Management, State Street, BlackRock, Calvert Investments, Nikko Asset Management and Shelton Capital Management.In December 2015, at the Paris COP, asset owners, investment managers and individual funds managing $11.2trn of assets signed a statement in support of the green bond market Reporting is key to validating the green credentials of the bonds. Investors need to know what their green bond holdings are financing. The Climate Bonds Initiative will dive further into reporting on trends and market states in 2016.We have seen higher quality reporting (e.g. EIB Climate Awareness Bonds broke down proceeds allocation by bonds and projects). There have also been strong trends in establishing outcome KPIs, disclosing reporting framework, and committing to third-party assurance on reporting.Half of outstanding green bonds were issued more than a year ago therefore should have reported. The majority of them have disclosed their annual reports. Over 90% of the reports disclosed proceeds allocation and climate impacts of projects or assets financed.In addition to the update of the Green Bond Principles wording on reporting, several development banks jointly drafted a framework on Green Bond impact reporting harmonization.we anticipate that the green bond market will diversify in financial products, with potentially the first sovereign green bond and green sukuk in the pipeline. Certified bonds are also expected to grow in the coming year, along with more forestry bonds.Read the full 2015 year end report here --———
News Article | February 15, 2017
DETROIT, MI--(Marketwired - February 13, 2017) - SmithGroupJJR, one of the nation's leading architecture, engineering and planning firms, is pleased to announce that Tom Butcavage, Sam D'Amico, Mark Kranz and David Varner have been elevated to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) College of Fellows. The recognition reflects their significant contributions to architecture and society and achievement of a standard of excellence in the profession. The four from SmithGroupJJR will be among the 178 new Fellows recognized at an investiture ceremony at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2017, to be held April 27-29 in Orlando, Florida. Tom Butcavage, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, is a SmithGroupJJR vice president and leader of the Higher Education Studio at the firm's Washington, DC office. He has spent the past 20 years as a pioneer in the programming, planning and design of award-winning and nationally significant higher education facilities across the U.S., ranging from instructional facilities and student centers to libraries and professional schools. Butcavage is widely recognized for his unparalleled expertise in law school design. He has led more than 20 law school projects, each containing a variety of spaces for specialized instruction, research and legal skills development. Among his most recently completed law schools are the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, American University Washington College of Law, George State University College of Law, and New York Law School - all which exemplify cutting-edge environments for modern legal education. Presently, he is leading the design of a number of new professional education facilities at the University of South Carolina, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Georgetown University. A frequent presenter at national academic conferences such as the Society for College and University Planning, American Bar Association and Association of College Unions International, Butcavage speaks on topics including the design of student spaces and maximizing student engagement through new facilities. He has served as a critic and lecturer at the Corcoran College of Art + Design and Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning. Butcavage is a graduate of Columbia University with a Master of Architecture, preceded by a BA in art history at Swarthmore College. His is a resident of Washington, DC's Shepherd Park neighborhood. Sam D'Amico, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, is a SmithGroupJJR vice president and design leader for the firm's Health Practice. Based at its San Francisco office, he is now commencing his 35th year practicing architecture throughout the U.S. as well as parts of Asia. D'Amico approaches every project with a specific architectural response that integrates the client's culture, context and place. His design tenets include the integration of daylight, nature and art into the healthcare environment to improve the healing process. D'Amico has designed for world-class teaching institutions and national leaders in healthcare such as the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, and Barnes Jewish Hospital. Currently, D'Amico is design principal for a new medical office building and bed tower, part of a multi-year expansion program for Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, California. His design of the new Robley Rex Veteran Administration Medical Center, a 1.2 million-square-foot replacement hospital to be constructed in Louisville, Kentucky, led to SmithGroupJJR's award of a prestigious AIA Academy of Architecture National Health Design Award, Unbuilt Category. Another D'Amico design, for the Fuwai Huazhong Cardiovascular and Heart Hospital, Zhenghou, Henan Province, China, was the recipient of an AIA San Francisco Citation Award for unbuilt design. At SmithGroupJJR, D'Amico is a member of the firm's National Design Committee. In 2016, he served as a featured panelist at firm's public forum on design, Perspectives, for a program titled, "The Fusion of Art and Architecture." A graduate from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors, the Houston, Texas native now resides in Lafayette, California, where he is on the Board of the city's Improvement Association. Mark Kranz, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, vice president and design director at SmithGroupJJR, is known for his elegant and synthesized solutions for research and higher education environments across the U.S. As the designer of projects recognized by a total of 27 AIA design awards to-date, he believes that each has the potential for excellence, regardless of budget or constraints. Kranz, who is based at the firm's Phoenix office, is an advocate of pushing the boundaries of innovation and sustainability. He designed the LEED Platinum Energy Systems Integration Facility at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colorado, leading a complex team and design vision for a high performance/ultra-low energy building later honored as R&D Magazine's "Lab of the Year." His design of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Center for Excellence, located at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, Oahu, Hawaii, was the recipient of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) 2015 Commander's Award for Design Excellence. Among Kranz's projects currently underway is the $82 million Engineering Building, now under construction at the University of Texas at Dallas. Scheduled for completion in 2018, the new, 208,000-square-foot building will house the university's rapidly growing mechanical engineering program. He is also serving design principal for the new $60 million San Diego County Crime Laboratory, slated to be completed in 2019. Kranz was elected to the SmithGroupJJR Board of Directors in 2015 and is a member of the firm's National Design Committee and Science & Technology Practice. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska in Lincoln with a Bachelor of Science in architectural studies, followed by a Master of Architecture from Arizona State University. He now resides in Phoenix. David Varner, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, is vice president and director of the firm's 200-person office in Washington, DC, located in the 1700 New York Avenue building in the heart of DC's monumental core. Varner is known for his talent in discovering and celebrating hidden environmental, economic and design opportunities in existing buildings. His special expertise and success in creating new value for owners, communities and cities through such building transformation is well demonstrated with the complete transformation of the 2.1 million-square-foot, Constitution Center, a repositioning of a 1960's property into the largest, privately-owned office building in Washington, DC. Certified LEED Gold, the building today is not only highly energy-efficient, but secure, elegant and fully leased. Varner is currently serving as SmithGroupJJR's principal-in-charge for one of the District's most exciting new buildings now under construction: the $60 million, 150,000-square-foot, DC Water Headquarters. When completed in late 2017 along the waterfront of the Anacostia River, the new building will set a new standard for low-energy, high-performance and resilient waterfront development. As a result of his expertise in existing buildings, transformation, planning and mixed-use development, Varner is frequently invited to join interdisciplinary panels of some of the nation's most significant leadership groups. In 2015 he was elected a Trustee of the Federal City Council, a position that catalyzes the collaboration of key business leaders in Washington, DC to solve challenging problems across the city. He is a long-time member of the Urban Land Institute and currently on its exclusive Redevelopment and Reuse Council. Varner has been a member of the SmithGroupJJR Board of Directors since 2011. He is graduate of Rice University with dual degrees: a Bachelor of Arts degree in architecture and art/art history and a Bachelor of Architecture. A native of Houston, Texas, Varner now lives in Arlington, Virginia. The American Institute of Architects Fellowship program was developed to elevate those architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession. Election to fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of architects as individuals, but also their significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level. SmithGroupJJR (www.smithgroupjjr.com) is an integrated architecture, engineering and planning firm, employing more than 1,100 across 10 offices. In May 2016, SmithGroupJJR was ranked as one of the nation's top architecture firms by Architect magazine's Architect 50. A national leader in sustainable design, SmithGroupJJR has 420 LEED professionals and 160 LEED certified projects.
News Article | February 15, 2017
WorldatWork, a nonprofit HR association and compensation authority, is proud to announce that LifeCare has earned WorldatWork’s Seal of Distinction for 2017 for the sixth straight year. The seal is a unique mark of excellence designed to identify organizational success in total rewards effectiveness. LifeCare is one of 160 organizations to be honored as a 2017 recipient. All of the 2017 recipients will be recognized during the WorldatWork Total Rewards Conference & Exhibition, held in Washington, D.C. from May 7-10. “It is an honor to once again receive the AWLP Seal of Distinction,” said Peter Burki, LifeCare Chairman & Chief Executive Officer. “For almost 33 years we have committed ourselves to helping clients, their employees and the employees of LifeCare be successful both in the workplace and at home. We look forward to continuing our support for them as they navigate through their personal needs and life events.” Begun in 2012, the prestigious Seal of Distinction is awarded to companies that meet defined standards of workplace programs, policies and practices weighted on several factors, such as the complexity of implementation, required organizational resources, perceived breadth of access and overall level of commitment from leadership. Applicants are evaluated on: “We congratulate all of the recipients of the 2017 Seal of Distinction. These recipients represent a wide variety of industries from across the U.S. and Canada, showing that the total rewards model applies to employers and employees everywhere,” stated Anne C. Ruddy, president and CEO of WorldatWork. “This year, we saw the highest number of applicants since the Seal of Distinction was created. I’m confident that this means an increasing number of companies are recognizing the importance of a workplace environment that benefits both the employer and employee.” This year’s recipients represent industries of education, finance, government, health, law, manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals – and hail from 36 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. The 2017 list includes 80 companies who are first-time Seal of Distinction recipients. Eighty companies have received the seal in previous years. In addition, 11 organizations, including LifeCare, have qualified every year since WorldatWork started presenting the Seal of Distinction in 2012. LifeCare provides employer-sponsored work-life benefits to 61,000 clients, including Fortune 500 companies and large branches of the federal government, representing 100 million members nationwide. In addition to child and backup care solutions, LifeCare also provides a full suite of work-life solutions that save members time with personal life needs such as: elder care, legal and financial issues, health and everyday responsibilities. LifeCare also operates LifeMart, an online discount shopping website that provides real savings on everyday products and needs. LifeCare is headquartered in Shelton, CT. The Total Rewards Association WorldatWork is a nonprofit human resources association and compensation authority for professionals and organizations focused on compensation, benefits and total rewards. It's our mission to empower professionals to become masters in their fields. We do so by providing thought leadership in total rewards disciplines from the world's most respected experts; ensuring access to timely, relevant content; and fostering an active community of total rewards practitioners and leaders. WorldatWork has more than 70,000 members and subscribers worldwide; more than 80% of Fortune 500 companies employ a WorldatWork member. Founded in 1955, WorldatWork has offices in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Washington, D.C., and is affiliated with more than 70 human resources associations around the world. Below is the complete list of 2017 Seal of Distinction recipients: California ACI Specialty Benefits Actelion Pharmaceuticals US Addepar Foothill Family Fremont Bank Infoblox Inc. Intuit Inc. Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA) Motion Picture Industry Pension & Health Plans Professional Publications Inc. Prologis UCLA Health and David Geffen School of Medicine University of California, Davis University of California, Irvine University of California San Diego District of Columbia Advanced Medical Technology Association American Gas Association DC Water Department of Transportation - Federal Aviation Administration Federal Reserve Board of Governors Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP Hill+Knowlton Strategies Raffa, P.C. Summit Consulting LLC The George Washington University U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services U.S. Department of Agriculture Florida AACSB International BayCare Health System Black Knight Financial Services, Inc. Broward Health Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority/LYNX Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Seminole State College of Florida Iowa ITA Group, Inc. Principal Financial Group Wells Enterprises Inc. Massachusetts Babson College Bright Horizons Family Solutions Inc. Globoforce Kronos Incorporated Massachusetts Institute of Technology Progress Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. Maryland Bon Secours Health System, Inc. Campbell & Company CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Continental Realty Corporation Frederick County Public Schools Johns Hopkins University and Health System Marriott International National Institutes of Health National Security Agency Target Community & Educational Services, Inc. Missouri City of Kansas City, Missouri KCP&L Nestle Purina PetCare Co. University of Missouri System Veterans United Home Loans New Jersey BASF Corporation Becton Dickinson CRP Industries Inc. Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc. KPMG LLP Prudential Financial Sanofi US The Electrochemical Society New York Mastercard Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center MVP Health Care MetLife NYU Langone Medical Center On Deck Capital Inc. Ralph Lauren The YMCA of Greater Rochester North Carolina BlueCross and BlueShield of North Carolina NC State University Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) RTI International Volvo Group North America Texas Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Children's Health City of Southlake Dell Inc. Disability Rights Texas Geokinetics Lloyd's Register Americas Inc. MOGAS Industries, Inc. Ryan, LLC Southwest Research Institute Texas Instruments
News Article | November 27, 2016
Global efforts to extract energy from sewage in forms such as heat, biogas and even electricity may get a boost thanks to the work of a team of biochemists and microbiologists from Ghent University in Belgium, who are collaborating on a pilot project with DC Water in Washington DC. Sewage from bathrooms and kitchens is a potential energy source because it contains various organic substances suspended in wastewater. If we want sewage treatment to be truly self-sustaining, the trick will be to find an efficient way to separate the organic matter from the wastewater – that way the wastewater can be recycled, and the organic matter can be used to generate bioenergy. Currently, the overall principle of most sewage treatment plants revolves around optimizing the way microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and protozoans feed on the organic contaminants in wastewater. As the microorganisms eat the organic matter, they form particles that clump together and settle at the bottom of a tank, allowing a relatively clear liquid to be separated from the solids and further purified. This often includes a step called "contact stabilization," which involves using two aeration tanks to ensure the microorganisms are as active as possible before introducing them to the next batch of effluent needing treatment. At the moment, the overall sewage treatment process recovers around 20 to 30 percent of the organic matter within the sewage mix. Dr Francis Meerburg, a researcher on the Belgian project, said their aim was to improve the way bacteria captures organic material. "We periodically starve the bacteria, in a kind of 'fasting regimen'," explains Professor Nico Boon. "Afterwards, wastewater is briefly brought into contact with the starved bacteria which are gluttonous and gobble up the organic matter without ingesting all of it. This enables us to harvest the undigested materials for the production of energy and high-quality products. We [then] starve the rest of the bacteria, so they can purify fresh sewage again." This new method can recover more than 55 percent of the organic matter from the sewage, which is a big improvement over current rates of 20 to 30 percent. According to the team's calculations, this amount should provide enough energy to completely treat sewage without the need for external electricity sources. "We're not going to solve climate change with our process, but every bit helps," Vlaeminck says. "For comparison: in our region of six million people (in Flanders), the energy usage of our sewage treatment municipality, Aquafin, corresponds to the residential electricity use of more than 690,000 people (more than 10 percent of the population). This gives an idea on the energy saving potential and impact, if all sewage treatment would be energy neutral." As a clear sign that there's a strong appetite for more efficient, affordable and sustainable processes in wastewater treatment, the team's work has gone directly from the lab to a large-scale application in the USA's capital city. The researchers are currently collaborating with DC Water (the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority) to implement the new process on a part of the plant's full-scale water treatment installation. The next step is to evaluate how well the process can help achieve more efficient wastewater treatment on a large scale.
News Article | February 28, 2017
WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) announced today that Mark T. Kim, Chief Financial Officer of the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water), will join the MSRB as Deputy Executive Director and Chief...
News Article | December 21, 2016
Turn on the faucet and it is likely that clean, drinkable water will come out; water that can be safely consumed. However, one in four cities around the world are water-stressed, and almost 97 percent of the Earth’s water is undrinkable. From the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, to droughts across the country, the significance of water utility and sustainability is more prevalent than ever before. To address the future of the water utilities, academics, entrepreneurs, business leaders, and thought leaders came together to discuss the future of water in the United States and around the world at the fifth annual MIT Water Summit on Nov. 17 and 18, hosted by the MIT Water Club. Members of the MIT Water Club moderated five panels over the two-day summit. This year’s topics ranged from the role of policy and economics on the future of water to the influence of industry and academic advances, but the overall vision was toward the future. “My aim was to hold an event with a broad enough appeal, but a specific focus explored through different approaches, such as technology, finance and policy,” said Gualtiero Jaeger, director of the MIT Water Summit and PhD candidate in the MIT- Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Joint Program. “The theme ‘water utilities of the future’ gradually developed out of our initial ideas, and we looked for speakers with relevant expertise. Here our alumni and other connections helped us immensely.” “Creativity is part of the daily DNA of the water industry,” said keynote speaker George Hawkins, CEO and general manager of DC Water. Hawkins noted that many solutions to water problems require thinking outside the box, and cited the modernization and re-branding of DC Water to increase public awareness of their water utility. Similar creativity emerged through the interdisciplinary discussions at the MIT Water Summit. Luis Montestruque, president and CEO of EmNet, suggested the possible overlaps between green energy and water systems. Noting the use of solar energy to power electronic street signs, he questioned whether water utilities could follow to lower the energy costs. Stephen Estes-Smargiassi '79, director of planning and sustainability at Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) and an alumnus of the MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), served as a keynote speaker and gave the Massachusetts perspective of water and energy. In his talk, Estes-Smargiassi highlighted the significance of water as an energy source, pointing out that 31 percent of the energy needed by MWRA is renewable energy, meaning the amount of money spent purchasing energy and power has decreased. By recycling water, Massachusetts is simultaneously creating energy. Ed McCormick, president of McCormick Strategic Water Management, cited potable reuse as one major example of creativity in the water sector during the panel on the role of economics. Potable reuse is the use of technologies to treat wastewater without putting water back into the environment and through the water cycle. McCormick acknowledged the negative perceptions people have of associating human waste with drinking water. “We replicate the water cycle with technology; we can do as good a job as nature. Those negative perceptions are changing and that’s where I see the creativity coming big time. It hasn’t quite swept to areas where you have more water than you need, but it’s certainly happening in the Southwest,” he said. Professor Gabriella Carolini of the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning suggested that there is no shortage of technological innovation, but that technological implementation is the major issue in the water sector. “Implementation is a problem that is not just financial, regulatory, technological or social; it’s a combination of all of those things, so we need to look at the implementation issue,” she said. Current policies and regulations are also not always conducive to rapid execution of news ideas. One component to this issue is the extensive pilot period, when technologies and ideas are studied before used widely. “We pilot for so long that by the time you actually determine that something is effective, there’s a new technology that we want to pilot. What we want to do is release some of the regulations a little bit so that we can promote some of these innovative technologies that are out there” said Mary Barry, executive director of New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA). Instead of hindering creative ideas with regulations and pilot programs, “We should be promoting innovation. That’s the only way we are going to grow and the only way we’re going to make things more efficient, both on the energy side and on the financial side,” she said. The creation of innovative technologies and their aligning with regulatory standards are only worth so much until the general public is on board with their implementation. As Ed McCormick suggested, changing the public’s perception of an issue of new innovative solutions is critical to the success of the product and the water sector. Communicating with the public to implement new ideas and technologies Speakers noted that reaching the general public is a difficult task, especially with the wide variety of media outlets and fragmented audiences. “I think the media can be a great asset to us as an industry, I just don’t think water is their focus,” said Mary Barry of NEWEA. One way to reach adults is through their children, who often talk about what they learn with their parents at home, she highlighted, citing the effectiveness of marketing to children. “Talking to students in schools allows them to go home and talk with their parents about something their parents might not be thinking about, because it has always been a luxury for them to have clean water and sanitation,” Barry said. The media is still considered a valuable method, however: “The full spectrum of media is an extremely useful tool, for even controlling outstanding systems like our own. I would say that the situation in Flint is an experience that is super important. It’s one thing to say that we have achieved amazing results in drinking water in this country, but I might suggest that we are only as good as our weakest link, and if something like that can happen in Flint, then it can happen anyplace,” said Carolini. Communication takes many forms beyond the media as well, such as through access to data. The availability and transparency of data in the water sector was a theme that continued throughout the Water Summit. During the panel “Visions for the Future,” panelists discussed the presence of smart systems, and the observation of resulting consumer behavior changes. Professor James Wescoat of the Department of Architecture and the MIT Tata Center spoke of staying in a hotel in Europe that displayed water meters in each room and showed how much water was used when a visitor turned on the shower or the sink. He recalled hearing fellow travelers discuss how few liters of water they used, each wanting to be lower than his counterpart. On that note, George Hawkins pointed out that when DC Water installed automatic meter readings in 2002, they noticed drops in water use. DC Water noted similar decreases when they began sending high-use notification alerts to customers, courtesy messages notifying customers of significant changes in water use, which could indicate leaking pipes. Alexander Heil, chief economist of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, made a similar point about water usage during the panel on the role of economics, noting that without smart systems and up-to-date information of one’s water usage, there is a disconnect between how people pay for water and how they use it. “There is a discrepancy between the point of usage and the point of payment. For example, if you have a quarterly billing cycle, nobody remembers how they used water three months ago.” The availability of data at water utility plants is crucial for the plants to troubleshoot any issues with their product. Anupam Bhargava, vice president of advanced technology and innovation at Xylem Inc., discussed this importance through disruptive sensing capabilities, one of the areas Xylam is looking into for the future. Disruptive sensing capabilities would allow water utility plants to detect issues immediately and allow them to be proactive in finding a solution. Noting that water, unlike other products commonly sold, cannot be recalled once it leaves the plant, Bhargava said that “real-time sensing capability is going to allow our customers to operate and manage their plants a lot more productively and safely.” Disruptive sensing capabilities would thus allow water utility plants to have important information at their fingertips and to avoid major public health hazards. Collaborating to solve major issues in the water sector Collaboration is often seen in the water sector to address major issues and find solutions. However, collaboration does not always mean centralized ownership. George Hawkins of DC Water mentioned the challenges of creating a centralized water system, because smaller municipalities prefer to maintain ownership of localized water sources. Instead, he proposed the creation of a more coordinated system on a broader scale, rather than centralized ownership. Ed McCormick shared that he has started to see such coordination through regional partnerships between smaller utilities. “In the San Francisco Bay Area, there are nearly 60 utilities that all discharge in the San Francisco Bay, some of them are very small and others are very large. What we have seen are agreements where small utilities can connect with other utilities to purchase bulk chemicals and get the benefit of scale, that larger utilities can get,” McCormick said. Marcus Gay, executive director of New England Water Innovation Network, pointed out that “innovation isn’t just about new technological solutions, it’s about bringing both innovative technological solutions and market adoption together. It’s an entire process.” One way to do this is to foster collaboration between academia and the water industry markets, to create a well-researched product or plan to implement and have a real-world impact. This was brought to life by the Water Summit’s panel on “Academia to Markets.” John Lienhard V, professor in the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab, noted that the best partnerships are with people who understand the need for water. “We have worked with a number of international institutions from countries that have serious water challenges. We have tried to get into these issues with them because they understand that these are not simply academic problems, but they are problems that can be translated back into the needs of their countries and societies in a way that provides water to people’s taps, that help people actually live and survive. In those cases, we have seen that the research is productive, it is viewed as important, it is supported well and it has the impact we need in both the practical and academic side,” he said. The fifth annual Water Summit was a full house, complete with academics from MIT and neighboring schools, business leaders, thought leaders, and students. Sami Harper, a graduate student in CEE, attended the summit to find out more about how changing technology is affecting the way we get our water. “I learned a lot from the keynote addresses which shed some light on water utility operations and the future of the industry,” she said. Members of the MIT Water Club also benefited from the event. “The interactions with professionals beyond our academic research was immensely valuable. We received insight into the water industry and the workings of institutions and companies in the water world,” Gualtiero Jaeger said. Sponsors for this year's Water Summit included Desalitech, Gradient Corporation, Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab, the MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, New England Water Innovation Network, Pepsico, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Xylem.
News Article | November 25, 2016
Domestic sewage contains various organic substances, mainly from toilets and kitchens. These are harmful to the environment, but also contain energy. Researchers from Ghent University discovered how to efficiently extract this energy from the wastewater. Researcher dr. Francis Meerburg (Center for Microbial Ecology and Technology): "The levels of organic matter in sewage are too low to be directly recovered. We investigated how we can use bacteria to capture this material. Our approach is unique because we have developed a high-rate variation of the so-called contact-stabilization process. " Professor Nico Boon: "We periodically starve the bacteria, in a kind of 'fasting regimen'. Afterwards, wastewater is briefly brought into contact with the starved bacteria which are gluttonous and gobble up the organic matter without ingesting all of it. This enables us to harvest the undigested materials for the production of energy and high-quality products. We starve the rest of the bacteria, so that they can purify fresh sewage again. " By using the contact-stabilization process, up to 55% of the organic matter could be recovered from sewage. This is a huge step forward, because the existing processes cannot recover more than 20 to 30%. The researchers calculated that this amount can provide sufficient amounts of energy to completely treat sewage without the need for external electricity. "This is an important step in the direction of wastewater treatment that is energy neutral, or even produces energy," said Professor Siegfried Vlaeminck. Industrial partners already showed interest in the contact-stabilization process. Francis Meerburg: "Within my PhD, I could work with DC Water (Washington DC, USA), which is responsible for the purification of the US capital city. Currently, a contact-stabilization trial is performed on a part of their full-scale water treatment installation. They are evaluating whether the process can help achieve a more efficient wastewater treatment." Going from a lab development in Belgium directly to large-scale application abroad is not an ordinary event. The interest from the industry clearly shows that it is time for more affordable and sustainable processes in wastewater treatment. Explore further: Poo power no longer just a pipe dream
News Article | November 14, 2016
DENVER, Nov. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority's (DC Water) Blue Plains Tunnel has been selected as the recipient of the 2016 Best Project Overall award for the Mid-Atlantic Region by Engineering News-Record (ENR). The project was selected best...
News Article | December 19, 2016
Hurricane Wind Power has reviewed the Wind solar hydro power renewable energy and sustainable living world since it announced the launch of Hurricane Wind Power Double Fold back DC Water Heating Element back in 07/01/2015. Hurricane Wind Power’s Dc Water Heater was promised to shake things up and 1 year later, facts are in. Previously, with even a passing glance, a person would notice single loop water heating elements had been on the market for a long time. The idea of using the same high efficiency technology seen in AC water heating elements as seen in popular home DIY outlets was adapted for DC water heating to accommodate DC off grid wind solar and renewable energy application to heat water more efficiently that what was being offered on the market. .The CEO at Hurricane Wind Power, Anthony Jones, makes a point of saying “things were always going to change when we launched Hurricane Wind Power Double Fold back DC Water Heating Element”. Anthony Jones continues… “Where you’ll likely always see competitors doing the same old thing, we wanted to We have shifted the focus to ignoring the ways other competitors have focused on their products and solutions and concentrated on evidence based solutions. .We do this because we believe If everyone just copies the other guy no progress is made and the goal of living a sustainable lifestyle is not going to be met without increasing product efficiencies. Ultimately we knew it was going to be of huge benefit to the customers because The consumer will use less of their energy generated in renewable systems to heat water. . We actually hope others follow suit.” While some have to some attempt attempted to copy the technology the original design still hold a foothold in the marketplace that has been untouched due to the flawless operation and efficiency of the product line. Hurricane Wind Power was established in 3/01/2008. It has been doing business 9 years since 2008 and it has always aimed to the main goal is to create sustainable living solutions for consumers at affordable prices. Ultimately the focus of the business is to make the power grid the alternative. Currently, the closest thing to Hurricane Wind Power Double Fold back DC Water Heating Element is single loop inefficient dc water heaters with minimal surface area, but Hurricane Wind Power double fold back DC Water Heating Element improved on this by provide more surface area to provide quick recovery and enhanced heating times. This alone was enough to make Hurricane Wind Power’s Dc Water Heater more popular with customers in the wind solar hydro power renewable energy and sustainable living space, quickly. Hurricane Wind Power Double Fold back DC Water Heating Element is now available to buy and review at Hurricane DC water heating element. To find out more, the place to visit is http://www.hurricanewindpower.com For further information about Hurricane Wind Power, this can be discovered at http://www.hurricanewindpower.com/dc-water-heating… For more information, please visit http://hurricanewindpower.com