A diverse group of influential thinkers from within and outside the water community put forth 10 recommendations for a technologically-advanced water future in the second think tank report of the Water 2050 initiative.
Published by the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the Water 2050 Technology Think Tank Report is the second in a series of five think tank reports associated with the initiative. Water 2050 seeks to envision the future of water and chart a course for sustainability.
The 26 participants in the Water 2050 Technology Think Tank, which took place Dec. 5-7, 2022, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, included highly respected voices from the water and wastewater utility, manufacturing and consulting community, innovation incubators, Silicon Valley thought leaders, privacy and cybersecurity experts, regulators and academics, CEOs and an agriculture research hydrologist. The group engaged in a series of facilitated discussions and developed recommended actions that can be grouped into four broad categories:
- Accelerate innovation
- Transform water services through next-generation technology
- Apply technology as the "Great Water Equalizer"
- Achieve a secure cyber future
"It is our responsibility as water professionals and technology innovators to chart a course for a successful and sustainable future," said Chi Ho Sham, AWWA immediate past president and a member of the Water 2050 Leadership Team. "By collaborating with influential thinkers from within and beyond the traditional water community, we will be better positioned to harness transformational new technologies and approaches, and at the same time, mitigate unintended consequences."
Three other think tanks will be held over the next six months to visualize the future of water through the additional drivers of economics, governance and social/demographics. High-level recommendations will be reported after each think tank, and after all five are completed, the reports will be combined with additional Water 2050 inputs into a final report. Outcomes will be presented at AWWA’s 2023 Annual Conference and Exposition (ACE23) in Toronto to support the water community in realizing the Water 2050 vision.
The next Water 2050 Think Tank, focusing on economics, is Jan. 23-25 in New York City. To engage in AWWA’s Water 2050 initiative or to learn more, visit the Water 2050 webpage. To access the Water 2050 Technology Think Tank report, visit this webpage.