After many widespread conversations about tackling climate change and delivering a framework for action, the water industry officially launched in November 2020 a route map to be net-zero on operational carbon emissions by 2030. Wow! A truly ambitious deadline and actually the first plan in the world that proposes an entire sector to be net-zero in only a decade.
But, if the water sector is to achieve this, the whole water industry will have to re-align and action a set of policy recommendations given by The Carbon Budget. This relies on huge amounts of collaboration and innovation. This means we all need to play our part.
That’s why it is of critical importance that companies who provide innovative solutions that could help achieve the plan get connected quickly to the big water companies and get the support needed to trial and scale their ideas.
In 2015, my brother Mark and I founded QINOV8, after many years as water engineers. After some years trialling in a laboratory, we managed to develop an innovative solution for leakage, called the AQUAPEA®. Best described as a small pea the size of a marble that reduces and fixes leaks in one hour and minimizes by 99% the carbon footprint of traditional leakage repairs – we were able to kill two birds with one stone! We were excited to be able to offer the water industry a solution that, apart from saving tens of thousands of litres of water a day, practically eliminates all the hassle and the carbon emissions of digging up a great big hole. Let’s not even mention the amount of time involved and the general disturbance of having to dig up a leaky pipe that this simple solution avoids.
In 2019 we were extremely excited to win Most Innovative Water and Wastewater Technology of the Year,, which gave it the industry support and credentials for it to be quickly adopted. All these milestones we were achieving, made it difficult to understand why simple but effective solutions like ours, were not immediately trialled and tested by all the big water companies in the UK ..at least?
We knew that leakage targets were ambitious and that current leakage levels in the UK were just under 3 billion litres of water (660 million gallons) across England and Wales, every day! So, why is it that with the information we have at our fingertips and our global aims of not wasting water, do we not already have quick and cost-effective no-dig solutions available in every water engineers toolbox? Especially when one successful leak repair by a product like the AQUAPEA®, reduces the carbon footprint nearly completely and saves water companies hundreds of pounds and huge amounts of time?
So I kindly ask the water sector leaders; what is the correct and ultimate strategy for disruptive ideas with small budgets to scale and be seen by the industry experts and decision-makers in the UK water companies? How can the big players support the very much needed up and coming technologies quickly and effectively? And how can we, a small team of two water engineers effectively partner up or promote ourwater and planet-saving technology today? Only with clear guidance on achieving partnerships with water companies across the UK can innovative solutions like ours also collaborate in this highly ambitious route map to become a net-zero industry by 2030.
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