The Economic Power of Water

By Eugene Wu-Bin Chao

More and more communities are facing acute water scarcity issues due to population growth, urban sprawl, resource overuse, and climate change. In the past two decades, water demand has exponentially increased and this trend will continue. By 2050 the world will demand 55 percent more water and 70 percent more energy. Water reuse, recycling, and other innovative water treatment technologies and emerging solutions have been well-presented, discussed, and received on June 3 Wharton Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) and General Electric (GE) The Economic Power of Water Conference at Wharton EMBA San Francisco office.

The conference serves as a multilateral dialogue platform for government officials from Department of Interior, USAID, SF Public Utilities Commission, Orange County Water District., decision-makers and CEOs from GE, Electronic Recyclers Intl’., water entrepreneurs from WaterSmart Software, World Research Institute (WRI), scientists, water solution developers, to exchange ideas and form strategic partnership.

Jon Freedman, a member for Wharton IGEL, co-author with Colin Enssle, released a white paper: Addressing water scarcity through recycling and reuse: a menu for policymakers. The paper analyzes a broad range of international practices and identifies appropriate policies, which serves tremendous value across government agencies and water industries. In the paper, water reuse policy focuses on four categories: education and outreach, removing barriers, incentives, mandates and regulations. This helps governmental authorities form and think through their options and great practices for increasing recycling and reuse of water.

Wharton IGEL is dedicated to help government, private sectors, and global leaders, etc. to develop long-term partnership, to build coalition, and to provide access to public engagement in sustainable solutions across energy and water industries.




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