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Technological solutions for the challenges of water industry in Latin America

  • Technological solutions for the challenges of water industry in Latin America

About the entity

Isle Utilities
Innovation consultancy specialising in the development and commercialisation of emerging technologies in the water & environmental sectors.

Themes

The growing demand for water to supply populations and secure the development of essential economic activities in Latin American countries represents an enormous challenge in the management of water resources. Therefore, it is key to increase investment, adopt the use of new technologies and diversify supply water sources for the industry, as well as improve the use or reuse of resources, in order to guarantee water security in a region where risks of shortages are increasing.

In the case of Brazil, according to a recent study, it is estimated that in the short and medium-term (between 2023 and 2028) the potential for reusing water from treated effluents of domestic wastewater for the industrial sector could grow from 1 m3/s to an intermediate scenario of 12.81 m3/s if investment is increased. Based on the calculation of that potential, the input-output table (which represents the balance between the supply and use of goods and services in an economy) of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics was used to estimate the impact it would have on the economy an approximate investment of USD 329 million. These investments would result in an expansion of national production (added value) of about USD 1.04 billion, generating around 96 thousand new jobs and more than USD 80 million in tax collection.

In Mexico, agriculture plays a key role in the country's economic development: it represents 8.4% of GDP and contributes to income generation and poverty reduction. Despite this, the agricultural sector consumes three-quarters of the available water, and the disinvestment in irrigation infrastructure, added to unsustainable agricultural practices of water, have caused a low productivity of the resource in the sector, where only 20% of sewage water receive treatment.

We can’t ignore the fact that the effects of climate change add great uncertainty to this equation, increasing the risk in the availability of water for industrial and domestic use, exacerbating an already complex combination of challenges facing the region.

The water industry has to be prepared to take better advantage of the innovation that comes from both internal and external sources

Considering this outlook, it should be noted that the provision of water services and its industrial use are at a demanding stage but with clear opportunities for improvement, given that traditional approaches are beginning to be questioned by the maturation of new technologies. The water industry has to be prepared to take better advantage of the innovation that comes from both internal and external sources, evaluate the most promising ones according to business needs and develop prototypes to be implemented as effective solutions.

To guarantee the resilience of the industry in the face of future challenges in the water sector, exchange and collaboration between companies is essential to share the technological solutions that best suit each case. That is precisely the goal of Isle Utilities, a global consultancy that has developed a collaborative innovation program focused on helping industries achieve sustainability results through the use of water and wastewater technologies.

This is how the first edition of the iTAG (Industrial Technology Approval Group) online workshop for Latin America was created, which will bring together industry leaders on Wednesday, March 17, to discuss numerous opportunities to save money through the use of smart technologies, that can allow improving asset management, process efficiency and product quality, as the main factors driving greater adoption of technology and innovation.

Participants will join a debate that aims to help improve companies’ customer service, increase business productivity and reduce environmental and public health impacts, with access to a database that has more than 1,300 technologies that have successfully passed Isle’s selection process.

On this occasion, the seminar will highlight four key subjects that will feature presentations about technological innovations on each one:

  • Circular Economy. With the presentation of Micro H2AD, a hybrid anaerobic digestion and microbial fuel cell process that creates value from waste, developed by Lindhurst Engineering LTD.
  • Water reuse. Highlighting FibrePlate, a unique and high efficiency hybrid submerged ultrafiltration membrane created by Fibracast for wastewater treatment.
  • Brine treatment. Which includes Desalitech's Closed Circuit Reverse Osmosis (ReFlex CCRO) technology to help industrial and municipal water users improve their financial, environmental and operational performance.
  • Digital water. With the presentation of Metrinet, from Analytical Technology, a multiparametric water quality monitoring system that allows to measure residual chlorine, turbidity, pH, conductivity, temperature, pressure and dissolved oxygen, consuming less energy.

Created in 2005, the TAG platform currently has 154 members from around the world, with a retention rate of 92%. It is a global forum where industrial water experts meet and jointly evaluate the technologies that best suit their business. To learn more about it and participate in this edition for Latin American industries, this link has been enabled.

In the water sector, and especially in Latin America, it is essential to promote these spaces that facilitate collaboration between peers to accelerate learning through collective experience, allowing the evaluation of the best available technological solutions, both from the technical aspect and for long-term planning or operational needs in water cycle management.