Water is life.
All plants and animals need it to survive.
It’s an essential nutrient-rich in natural minerals and plays several roles.
In the body, water promotes normal physical functions, supports thermoregulation, and cognitive functions.
The human body weight made up of 60% water. The lungs comprise 83% of the water and 31% in bones. Even so, water can’t be stored in the body.
The body loses water through sweat, breathe, urine, and fecal excretion. You need to keep your body hydrated to replenish lost fluids and stay healthy for proper body function.
According to healthline.com, water also regulates body temperature, flushes out toxins and wastes, and supports brain function.
Water, according to the Australian Department of Health, has several other uses. They include:
- Washing clothes and bodies
- Cleaning houses and communities
- Washing kitchen utensils
- Recreation such as swimming
- Gardening and farming
Despite the essence of water as the essential substance in the earth, millions of people across the world don’t have access to clean, safe water for drinking.
Therefore, technologies are continuously being invented to help overcome the challenge of scarce clean water for safe drinking.
Treatment plants and complex pipeline networks help treat unclean water for safe use. Here’re the top emerging inventions aimed at easing the pressure exerted on nature’s limited supply of water.
7 New Water Treatment Technologies
- Membrane chemistry for softening water
Membranes are critical to modern water processes of treating water. They’re the mediums used to filter and purify water.
Unlike human hair, membrane pores deployed in ultrafiltration are almost 3,000 times finer. They’re either 10 or 20 nanometers in diameter.
Membrane chemistry contributes greatly to modern water treatment innovations despite being invented several years ago. For instance, it becomes handy when converting saltwater into freshwater for safe human use.
Recent membrane chemistry breakthroughs have reduced desalinated water costs from $1 to $0.80 to $0.50 per cubic meter in just half a decade.
With new ceramic membranes, water treatment has become more cost-effective. It is going to be a key driver of enhanced longevity, integrity, and costs of water treatment solutions.
- Nanotechnology infiltration
Over 1.6 million people, according to the World Health Organization, die annually from diarrhea due to a lack of safe water for drinking. Lack of proper basic sanitation has also been linked to the deaths.
A nanotechnology-based water purification system has been invented in India to help solve this problem.
The technology uses nanoparticles to eliminate bacteria, microbes, and other micro-organisms from water. It releases silver ions into the water to kill the contaminants.
According to the Indian Institute of Technology Madras professors, technology can save lives. It costs only $2.50 annually to ensure families have access to safe water free from microbes.
The technology points to the viability of low-cost water purification solutions that can be deployed on a large scale commercially.
- Seawater desalination
The desalination of seawater is costly but promising. Reverse osmosis consumes lots of energy, almost 4 kilowatts every hour per cubic meter of water processed.
Biomimicry is a seawater desalination plant established in 2005 in Singapore. It mimics the biological process that euryhaline fish (lives in both salt and fresh, briny water) and mangrove plants use to extract seawater without using lots of energy.
Biomimetic membranes fused with aquaporin are also used. Aquaporin are proteins integrated into cell membranes to selectively allow water into and out of the cells, blocking out the salts.
Innovative engineering solutions for seawater desalination can mimic biological processes through scientific inventions.
- Intelligent irrigation
Agriculture utilizes 70% of freshwater worldwide.
Precision irrigation systems are intelligent water management approaches based on computer modeling and algorithms to support farming in the developed world.
Focusing on forecasting and the essence of measuring, the technique adopts analytical technologies and instrumentation to bring innovative change to farmers.
Innovation is vital in smart water utilization of the already limited resource.
- Smart monitoring
Distribution networks in developing countries result in a loss of 45 million cubic meters of water daily.
Companies experience increasing costs due to water leakages, which also exert more pressure on already-stretched water resources. Leaks also increase the likelihood of water supplies getting polluted.
If almost 60% of water isn’t accounted for, investing billions in water reservoirs and catchment, pumping stations, and treatment plants don’t make sense.
Therefore, there’s a need for water monitoring technologies.
With emerging monitoring technologies, firms can maintain the integrity of their large water supply networks.
Acoustic and pressure sensors are linked to cloud-based, centralized monitoring systems wirelessly to detect and reveal leakages faster.
- Wastewater processing
Sewage treatment in urban areas is still inadequate. Wastewater is often released into water bodies such as estuaries or rivers without treatment or utilized in irrigation.
With new technologies, it’s now possible to convert wastewater into safe drinking water or an energy generation resource.
For example, activated modular hybrid sludge digesters extract nutrients for use as fertilizers, in turn, halving energy needs for treatment.
Urban areas have scarce open land. Hence compact wastewater systems are required to develop new treatment plants or expand and upgrade existing facilities.
- Mobile recycling facilities
Mobile water treatment solutions are needed in the hydraulic fracturing industry worldwide. Reverse osmosis units can treat water in high volumes to extract gas and move it into the sub-surface.
Companies investing in technology will benefit from low price tolerance due to new product applications.