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Transformation: Water Infrastructure for a Sustainable Future

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This publication from water experts at the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) and a team of industry experts explores a new and unique approach to water and energy management where human water systems are engineered to mimic natural water systems. This innovative technique for water and energy management is a must-read for water utility managers across the country This publication from water experts at the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) and a team of industry experts explores a new and unique approach to water and energy management where human water systems are engineered to mimic natural water systems. This innovative technique for water and energy management is a must-read for water utility managers across the country and the globe. Modern cities face a plague of water infrastructure problems, from combined sewer overflows to stormwater pollution to deteriorating pipes and treatment plants. As our climate changes, that infrastructure is proving inadequate to the tasks of building resilience to drought or managing severe flooding. Due to the inherent damage large centralized water systems impose on the environment, Charles River Watershed Association has been pursuing a financially responsible approach to re-engineering water infrastructure. CRWA has created a new paradigm, Community Water and Energy Resource Centers (CWERCs), small local water treatment and energy generating centers that will restore nature, build resilience to drought and flooding, and build flexibility into water infrastructure in anticipation of climate changes. Treating waste as a resource CWERCs reject the traditional treatment plant philosophy of “waste” water and instead capture wastewater and other organic waste to produce energy, nutrients, and clean water. CWERCs combine a membrane bioreactor, thermal energy heat pump, anaerobic digester, composter and other technologies to treat water locally, generate energy, and reuse the clean fresh water produced including returning a portion back to the environment to replicate natural water, carbon and nutrient cycles. CRWA understands the economic and environmental need to transition away from large-scale treatment plants. In our book we discuss conceptual designs for CWERCs in two urban neighborhoods and the feasibility of phasing out large centralized wastewater systems. Bruce Douglas, Robert Black, and Nigel Pickering were valuable contributors to this body of work.


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This publication from water experts at the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) and a team of industry experts explores a new and unique approach to water and energy management where human water systems are engineered to mimic natural water systems. This innovative technique for water and energy management is a must-read for water utility managers across the country This publication from water experts at the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) and a team of industry experts explores a new and unique approach to water and energy management where human water systems are engineered to mimic natural water systems. This innovative technique for water and energy management is a must-read for water utility managers across the country and the globe. Modern cities face a plague of water infrastructure problems, from combined sewer overflows to stormwater pollution to deteriorating pipes and treatment plants. As our climate changes, that infrastructure is proving inadequate to the tasks of building resilience to drought or managing severe flooding. Due to the inherent damage large centralized water systems impose on the environment, Charles River Watershed Association has been pursuing a financially responsible approach to re-engineering water infrastructure. CRWA has created a new paradigm, Community Water and Energy Resource Centers (CWERCs), small local water treatment and energy generating centers that will restore nature, build resilience to drought and flooding, and build flexibility into water infrastructure in anticipation of climate changes. Treating waste as a resource CWERCs reject the traditional treatment plant philosophy of “waste” water and instead capture wastewater and other organic waste to produce energy, nutrients, and clean water. CWERCs combine a membrane bioreactor, thermal energy heat pump, anaerobic digester, composter and other technologies to treat water locally, generate energy, and reuse the clean fresh water produced including returning a portion back to the environment to replicate natural water, carbon and nutrient cycles. CRWA understands the economic and environmental need to transition away from large-scale treatment plants. In our book we discuss conceptual designs for CWERCs in two urban neighborhoods and the feasibility of phasing out large centralized wastewater systems. Bruce Douglas, Robert Black, and Nigel Pickering were valuable contributors to this body of work.

3 review for Transformation: Water Infrastructure for a Sustainable Future

  1. 5 out of 5

    Don Kindsvatter

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jane R. Freeman

  3. 4 out of 5

    Austin Madsen

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