Земельные и водные ресурсы

Technical Session 3: Technology & Innovation - Scaling Up Technology and Innovation

Session Summary

Five innovative technologies and approaches were presented focusing on the use of conventional and non-conventional water resources and water production. The technologies presented were: hydro economical models, nature-inspired biomimetic membranes, cloud seeding, and water harvest from air and fog. 

The following points were highlighted:

Innovative technologies should be economically efficient, socially acceptable and environmentally sustainable.

“Top-down” and “bottom-up” approaches related to climate change adaptation and mitigation should be explored in order to embrace the proposed technological innovations.

Supply enhancement and demand management methodologies should be considered for scaling up aspects on water innovations and the necessary enabling environments should be formulated for their adoption.

Policies, regulatory frameworks should be formulated for emerging water technologies to be adopted by the communities in a much quicker and efficient way.

Training and capacity building programs should be considered for the technologies’ uptake through local and international streams.

No single technology can fully address the water challenges and technologies need to be implemented taking into account local needs and conditions. 

Key take home points from each speaker:

Mr Manuel Pulido-Velazquez presented how hydro economic methods and tools can support decision-makers to implement an integrated and adaptive management of conventional and nonconventional water sources. The combination of economic, engineering and environmental considerations can help select optimal portfolio of conventional and non-conventional waters at the basin level.

Mr Maxim Pasik presented Watergen, which is a global company that develops water-from-air solutions. Watergen developed an atmospheric water generator (AWG), which generates water from air. During the process, air is drawn into the Watergen atmospheric water generator, where an air filter removes dust and dirt. Then, clean air is directed through Watergen's technology and undergoes a heat exchange and cooling process. At this temperature point, condensation occurs and water is created. The presenter said that the technology installation is easy and have multiple uses including in emergency situation where potable water is needed.

Mr Chee Meng Pang presented the advancement of biomimetic membrane technology. Reverse osmosis membrane technology is traditionally energy heavy but the presented technology diminishes such energy demand. In fact, the membrane is based on Aquaporin, which is a protein that efficiently channels water while rejecting salt. The technology was developed by observing and learning from nature, such as the characteristics of mangroves that live in seawater. The R&D of the biomimetic membrane started in 2009 and the concept has been validated. Now the technology is in the demonstration stage and presents a promising innovation in the field.

Mr Ali Abshaev presented about cloud seeding technology as a source of freshwater. There are about 50 projects on cloud seeding globally. The global potential for rain enhancement is estimated to be of 8-20 percent increase in precipitation in different location and climate conditions. The rain enhancement can provide water for large areas with no transportation cost. The science behind the technology is complex and some uncertainties remain in the predictability of the technology but the research is being advanced through a strong international cooperation.

Mr Manzoor Qadir presented fog-harvesting technology as a cost-effective source of freshwater to alleviate water scarcity at local levels. The technology is easy to install and operate with no adverse effects on the environment. The amount harvested is 2-20 litres for each m2 of mesh depending on the frequency, duration and intensity of fog. The accessibility of the technology allows local communities to directly manage projects, thus strengthening their self-sustainability.