ASME Encourages Water Recycling, Technology

Recognizing the need to identify and implement technology solutions to enable the sustainable use and reuse of water, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has initiated an organizational plan directed at effective water management.

The plan, outlined in the 39-page "Water Management Technology Vision and Roadmap," aims to guide the society in developing products and services that benefit engineers, the nation, and the global community at large. ASME’s strategic plan highlights training, technology research and development, standards development, advocacy and public awareness, and collaborations with national and international groups.

“ASME will bring diverse partners together to find multidisciplinary solutions to water management technology issues that protect public health and the environment, while conserving precious water supplies and the infrastructure for future generations,” the organization says in the report, which is drawn from the analysis and assessments of selected experts in science and engineering.

The roadmap identifies five trends and drivers that will guide the society’s activities over the next five years. The trends relate to the role of water in energy production, supply scarcity due to shifting populations, decreased water quality, the use of recycled or “gray” water in some industrial sectors, and the role of ASME members and other engineering professionals in educating policymakers and the general public.

Among the society’s R&D objectives in water management is to stimulate technology development and to promote best practices, including standards development, for the safety and reliability of engineering components and equipment. The roadmap also encourages industry to use non-potable “gray” water to meet water conservation imperatives.

“Utilities, manufacturers, and municipalities can replace the use of freshwater with reclaimed or recycled water,” says ASME. Part of the society’s roadmap is to address the political, economic, social, and technological hurdles “in order to tap into the considerable potential that recycling and reuse offer an industry seeking to keep costs low and a nation seeking to conserve potable water resources.”

In the area of education and outreach, ASME plans to create training seminars and workshops on water technology, new technical journals, an industry-sponsored award, and a Water Management Technology Affinity Group comprised of ASME volunteers.

Going forward, ASME will engage in collaborations and partnerships with organizations that have a long-standing involvement in water technology and management, including the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, American Water Works Association, U.S. Department of Energy, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.