Resource Recovery: Essential for a Sustainable Future
Host – Enrique Zaldivar, Director & General Manager, LA SANITATION AND ENVIRONMENT
Can water reclamation plants be a resource for food waste to be an investment recovery?
The digesters can process food waste to create a pathway to food waste to abandon the landfill. Food waste in digesters uses hydraulics to break down food waste to its smaller size. This is pre-treatment of food waste before discharging to the sewer lines. This concern is putting food waste in digesters and the high ammonia amount.
As we develop our water recycling plant, our water recovered to 100% recycled water, we will reduce less gas, since less biomass will be produced, so less methane will be produced. This creates more of a need for food waste to be added to the system. To offset that loss of methane production, we can use the steam to heat digests to a normal heat of 129 °F to 98 °F. We can send the steam to create the energy.
Is there a way to use our brine concentration to be reversed so its not in the ocean?
There is technology to reduce it to 1/10th of the size. We can extract water and use the brine to be used to mix the cement for conservation.
The Utility of the Future
Host – Rebekah Eggers, WW Leader – IoT for Energy, Environment, & Utilities, IBM
The definition for utility of the future can be described as: sustainable, resilient, smart utility, no longer compliant, manage valuable resources, more efficiently, eliminate entry lower level work, innovative systems, data AI, seamless stakeholder and engagement, affordable/equitable, customer driver, adaptive mobility.
Issues (what’s getting in our way): silos, integration of systems, diamond water panels, resistance to change, aligning new/old systems, conservative nature, resistance to experiment. Political case for change with new generations and legacy ruler, affordability. Customers are diverse with diverse needs and expectations, fragmented industry with fragmented silos within the utility using specialized tools, standardization of data, affordability of solutions for small utilities.
Opportunities which could accelerate the future of our profession: leadership communications, change management to adopt new technologies, not more data but focus on the right data. Focus on outcomes, what it is we want to achieve. Education – at all levels from pre-school to PhD. Build change for 3-5 year horizon vs 20–30 years.