The View from Europe: Making a difference

By: Beverley Ferrara, European Representative at The Water Council

Walking the talk

It’s easy to sound off about what ought to be done to better manage our natural resources, and who ought to do it. Seems everyone, including celebrities, has an opinion.

But what matters are results. Lately I’ve been struck by what some of our overseas members are achieving on a daily basis. These companies are making a meaningful difference. The real work of saving the planet is being done in the trenches — and it’s energizing to be part of it!

Below are notable accomplishments from several companies that will soon be visiting Milwaukee and the Global Water Center as part of their WEFTEC experience. Welcome!

Recycled water for every house

Dutch company Hydraloop has a vision: In 20 years, every house will have its own water recycling system. They also have a product: It retrieves, purifies and disinfects shower, bath and washing machine water to the highest international standards, before making it available for “greywater” purposes like flushing toilets and irrigating gardens. It even comes with an app. Hydraloop walks the talk by recycling 85% of domestic water without the use of filters, membranes or chemicals.

Urban Water Innovators

Climate change and the increasing frequency of ‘extreme weather’ are putting a strain on water resource management. German company Steinhardt GmbH is working worldwide on complicated mega-city water challenges like flooding from monsoons, stormwater treatment and storage and chemical-free water purification. Steinhardt walks the talk in Thailand by protecting low lying areas against stormwater overflow with a combination of 20 tons of stainless steel gateways and a no-maintenance regulator that can handle 4,000 l/s.

The location and climate of Bangkok, which is only 1.5m above sea level make it prone to frequent flooding.

Smart Infrastructure

Brilliant new smart infrastructure technologies developed by U.K. based CRALEY Group makes it possible to integrate water and communications utilities, and measure their performance besides. Craley walks the talk for water company Aigües de Vic in Catalonia by deploying ultra-fast fiber optic communication within existing infrastructure. Results? Fewer losses from leaks while rural citizens simultaneously gain access to fast fiber broadband – for a fraction of the time and cost of traditional techniques.

Here for you

As The Water Council’s European liaison, I’m here to facilitate growth opportunities in Wisconsin for European companies and in Europe for Wisconsin companies. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to explore how TWC can support your international business development strategies.