Environmental Protection

GE Gathers Leaders to Consider Water Reuse Initiatives

Exploring ways to better protect water resources is the goal of last week's GE Leadership Summit on Water Reuse Solutions, “From Used to Useful.”

Leaders from industry, government and academia gathered at the company's learning center in Crotonville, N.Y., to discuss the role of water reuse, or recycling, in securing a sustainable water supply for the future.

The summit was launched with addresses by GE Chair and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt and Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell.

The discussions focused on industrial and municipal water reclamation and reuse, exploring technology, economics and policy.

Speakers included Khoo Teng Chye, chief executive and a board member of Singapore’s PUB, who shared how the island nation is restoring 30 percent of its wastewater and directing it into the drinking water supply.

“Singapore is a prime example of how the right mix of economics, strong policy and advanced technology can work together,” said Khoo Teng Chye. “Taking on the challenge of water reuse requires efforts in all three areas, and it is our collective effort to see that approach more broadly adopted by industries and municipalities.”

Other participants, include Kathryn Garcia of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Gary Darling of Delta Diablo Sanitation District, and Rich Atwater, chief executive officer from Inland Empire Utilities Agency, presented water reuse success stories. In addition, David Sunding, professor of economics of the University of California-Berkeley, set the stage for an exchange of ideas on the economics of water reuse solutions while Lorne Taylor, chair of the Alberta Water Research Institute, covered technology advancements.

“As the world faces growing water scarcity challenges, the need for conservation and recycling of water is more important than ever before,” said Heiner Markhoff, president and chief executive officer of Water and Process Technologies for GE Power & Water. “The focus of this summit is to bring together the right mix of influencers that are taking an initial stance and demonstrating their vested interests in protecting the future of the environment and ensuring a sustainable water supply.”

The participants will continue their dialogue and initiatives beyond the summit through an exclusive online community to support the Used to Useful movement. Members will be able to apply their expertise to help develop and raise awareness around sustainable water alternatives that can help solve the challenges of water impurity and scarcity.

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