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Report: Focus on water tech for reliable, cost effective GHG reductions

Wednesday, March 14th 2018 3:15:06pm

Vancouver, BC (March 14, 2018) - Released today at GLOBE Forum 2018, WaterTAP’s newest report Water: The next frontier on the path to a low carbon economy asserts that clean water technology is vital to meeting GHG emissions targets.

The report recommends a continuing focus on clean water technology as a reliable, cost-effective way to lower GHG emissions and create energy savings.

Water and wastewater services can consume as much as one-half of a municipality’s total electricity use, and on average, over 30% of municipal carbon emissions are related to water services. Across Canada, emissions from wastewater treatment increased by 22% from 1990 to 2015.

This energy use results in substantial greenhouse gas emissions that can be minimized through application of clean water technology across the full spectrum of water services - from water provision to wastewater treatment to stormwater management, the report asserts.
For instance, generating biogas at wastewater treatment plants across Canada has the potential to offset 2.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents per year, which is the equivalent of taking 600,000 cars off the road.

Ontario’s water technology sector is poised to meet the demand for new solutions, across the globe and here in Canada. These companies are making an impact around the world. They are maximizing energy efficiency in water systems, generating renewable energy from wastewater, and harvesting valuable resources from waste streams. And they are ready to apply their solutions to the largely untapped domestic market.

Since 2012, Ontario has supported WaterTAP in its mandate to help Ontario clean water innovators navigate the complex path from commercialization to market leadership. The investment is paying off. In 2016-2017, companies working with WaterTAP realized $23 million (thirteen times the investment in WaterTAP) in incremental revenue for the Ontario economy.

“Our companies are translating innovative ideas into real-world applications,” said WaterTAP President and CEO Dr. Peter Gallant in regards to the report. “In doing so, they are contributing significant value to the Province’s dual effort to create high-value, low-carbon jobs and to grow this critical sector of the economy.”


For more information (on site at GLOBE):
Kerry Freek, Vice President and Senior Manager, Communications
WaterTAP Ontario
On-site at GLOBE cell 416-627-5363  |  Main office: 416-593-0303 ext: 112

WaterTAP brings private sector experience and guidance to helping water industry entrepreneurs gain access to the resources they need to successfully commercialize their products and services and grow their businesses.

BACKGROUNDER:  WaterTAP Report: Water: the next frontier on the path to a low carbon economy, released at GLOBE Forum 2018 on March 14th, 2018

Climate change is impacting the supply of accessible clean water and requires the rapid adoption and deployment of energy efficient and low carbon energy responses. As reliable water sources become scarce and the need to reduce GHG emissions become ever more important, Ontario is optimally positioned to advance both the business and science sides of its thriving water-tech cluster.

Section highlights:
1. Water: the next frontier on the path to a low carbon economy: An overview of current opportunities and the importance of water-tech solutions in responding to the challenges of the low carbon economy.
2. Building on the Ontario advantage:  Exploring how through policies and investments in technology, innovation and talent, Ontario has emerged as a powerhouse in the transition to a low carbon economy.

3. Unpacking and tapping into the water opportunity: With water and wastewater management accounting for up to half of municipal energy costs, how clean water technology can make a significant contribution to lowering GHG emissions is explored.

3.1 Maximizing energy efficiency in water systems: Considers how energy freed up through energy and water efficiency efforts is typically the cleanest and most cost-effective source of “new” supply and how Ontario’s clean water technology comes into play.

     • Optimization and automation: Describes the role of Ontario technology in measuring
        water and energy data (innovative sensors, monitoring and decision support
        technologies, etc.), making it easier to reduce energy use and coincident GHG
        emissions as related to water system operations.
     • Treatment and conveyance solutions: Outlines the contribution of Ontario’s leading
        membrane, disinfection and pipe rehabilitation companies towards delivering superior
        performance to municipalities, industry and other end users.

3.2 Generating renewable energy from wastewater:  Repositions municipal wastewater as an energy source rather than an energy consumer.

3.3 Harvesting valuable resources from waste streams:

     • Reusing and recycling heated water: Reviewing how changing practices in Ontario
        industries that rely on high volumes of warm water and steam can reduce the need
        for these high-energy input activities.
     • Producing biologically based fertilizers:  Outlines how water-tech companies are
        using biosolids and sludge that treatment plants across Canada as a source of nitrogen
        and phosphorous for conversion into biologically based fertilizer products.
     • Heat Recovery and Exchange: The role of capture and transfer of energy is the
        transformation to low carbon alternative where there is heating and cooling water.

4. Conclusion
While still largely untapped, Ontario’s water technology sector is uniquely positioned to contribute to a low carbon economy.