Promoting Technology Innovation for Clean and Safe Water - Water Technology Innovation Blueprint: Version 2
Our freshwater resources are limited and face mounting pressures from drought, flooding, pollution, population growth, and competition from many uses (e.g., ecosystem protection, drinking water, agriculture, energy production, recreation). Technology innovation can help address our water challenges and put us on a more sustainable path while supporting economic growth. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) aims to be a catalyst to promote and support technology innovation to protect and ensure the sustain ability of our water resources.
On March 27, 2013, EPA’s Office of Water issued the Blueprint for Integrating Technology Innovation into the National Water Program, which highlighted EPA’s initial ideas and plans for advancing technology innovation across various water programs. This document expands on those ideas and frames the business case for water technology innovation; identifies “market opportunities” where technology innovation could help solve water challenges; provides examples of emerging innovation pioneers; identifies tools for assessing water risk; and frames a more robust set of actions that EPA will take to promote technology innovation for clean and safe water.
In the past year, EPA has widely communicated the goals and opportunities of the technology initiative, engaging a broad spectrum of partners and stakeholders. For example, Acting Assistant Administrator for Water Nancy Stoner has visited many innovation pioneers to raise awareness of very promising efforts to solve water resource challenges cheaper, faster and using less energy. Efforts to promote and foster technology innovation will continue to be dynamic and evolving.
For purposes of this document, technology innovation is defined as:
The development and deployment of new technologies and processes; new applications of existing technology; production changes; and organizational, management and cultural changes that can improve the condition and sustainability of our water resources.
In short, this includes: (1) new technologies; (2) new management approaches (e.g., regional coordination); or (3) techniques that increase the efficiency of existing systems (e.g., sensors and controls).