H20h my, believe it or not, we have local experts

Once again we have to import talent:

Talking with Vincent Caprio, it’s easy to note his East Coast accent.

But when it comes to emphasizing water and its management, Caprio — chief operating officer of the Shelton, Conn.-based Water Innovations Alliance — wants to come inland to Dayton.

The Water Innovations Alliance, an association promoting water technologies, is planning the inaugural Dayton Water Conference, at the University of Dayton May 10-12.

“It really is a water city,” Caprio said of Dayton.

Caprio said the Dayton Development Coalition invited him here in November. He was introduced to UD and its engineering programs and he learned of the region’s 22-member Water Roundtable, in which local leaders try to market the Miami Valley’s water advantages.

Caprio came away impressed.

“There is an abundance of water, whereas in most cities, the aquifers are drying up and there are severe water shortages,” he said….

Any business that depends on water — in information technology, manufacturing, medicine or elsewhere — understands its importance, said Maureen Patterson, the coalition’s vice president, stakeholder relations. “Water is the next oil,” she said.

via Water forum coming to Dayton in May.

Apparently the Dayton Development Coalition is unable to do a local google search and find that we have globally recognized talent in Dayton on the subject. Greg knows all about it- since he’s worked for Dr. Philip L. Hayden who sets up water treatment plants all over the world.

Watch the video and learn more about water treatment and Greg’s opinion of this forum:

Enjoy!

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10 Responses

  1. jstults January 16, 2010 / 5:56 pm
    From the linked article:

    Water will double to triple in cost in the next five to 10 years, according to Business Week magazine, noted Adam Murka, a coalition spokesman.

    For some reason I’m pretty skeptical of this claim.  Anyone know where this projection came from?  Are we talking western and southern cities in arid climates or with frequent seasonal droughts?  Some sort of national average?

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  2. truddick January 17, 2010 / 8:29 am
    Jstults:
    People who get their news from better sources than FOX or MSNBC have heard about impending world water shortages for decades.   In parts of the world it’s already severe, and that’s not just in desert areas; the USSR almost dried up the Aral Sea by overutilizing it for irrigation and industry.  The Colorado River no longer empties into the Pacific; it empties into California’s reservoirs.  One of the major, but undiscussed, points of contention in the near east is Israel’s relative abundance of water compared to neighboring states.
    Maybe, like most Americans, you don’t follow international news–and maybe like most Americans your memory is short.  Do you not remember 2 short years ago when Atlanta, GA suffered a major water crisis, and the subsequent rancor between the states of Georgia, Mississippi, and Florida over who got to take how much water from which rivers, lakes and reservoirs?  That’s one of the things that we expect will vex NCR management in coming years, since the problem honestly has not been resolved.
    As population continues to explode and urban areas continue to creep, the problem only gets worse.
    Stults, I like rational skepticism.  But too often in the USA recently, what passes for it is actually anti-intellectualism.  I don’t know your views, but the water problem is tied to climate change and the environment in general.  If you’re not one of those who rejects data and expert opinion from those areas (much less one who misrepresents the situation and claims that disinterested experts are divided on the issues) then you might start studying at:
    http://water.org/
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/in_depth/world/2000/world_water_crisis/default.stm
    http://www.nature.com/nature/focus/water/

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  3. jstults January 17, 2010 / 9:02 am
    trudick, (what an appropriate name considering your snarky response), all I was asking for was a link to a reputable study rather than marketing claims from a bunch of venture capitalists (as Greg points out in the vid).
     
    I have heard of the problems with the Ogallala aquifer (which was the reason for my comment about ‘arid regions out west’), and I have lived down south, (the reason for the mention of ‘seasonal drought’ ).  What I wanted was some <i>data</i> rather than <i>marketing spiel</i>.  At the links you did provide, the only thing that mentions the US is the BBC one which has a little inset about the Ogallala situation.  The other stuff is about providing clean drinking water to poor and developing nations.  While this is an important and laudable goal, as far as I can tell this has nothing to do with the price of water in the US in five years!  <a href=”http://www.nature.com/nature/focus/water/map.html”>The map</a> seems to indicate that we’re doing quite well.  Maybe you could (with a gentle and cooperative spirit) correct my misunderstanding on this point, I would actually thank you for that.  I don’t know anyone who would thank you for calling them wilfully ignorant, and then not helping them with some info that actually pertains to correcting the ignorance they actually acknowledged in their original question.
     
    As I said in another thread, I don’t watch <i>any</i> TV news, the bandwidth and signal to noise ratio is generally  much higher with written content (check out <a href=”http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/”>Ed Tufte’s work</a> on this).  That’s one of the reasons I like this site, the commenters are often witty, usually don’t rant and call names, and generally back up what they say with logic or data or both.

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  4. jstults January 17, 2010 / 10:48 am
    truddick:

    I don’t know your views, but the water problem is tied to climate change and the environment in general.

    What do my views on climate change have to do with this?  The water problems described by the links you provided are not (I remembered to use the host’s nice editor this time) caused by climate change or the environment.  They are clearly caused by poverty, lack of good infrastructure (or in the case of Ogallala,too much infrastructure sucking the water out) or lack of sound planning (your USSR example, our own Dust Bowl is another).  Water availability is a regional issue (seasonal drought in ATL example), not a global one.  If this weren’t the case then Dayton couldn’t hope to have a relative advantage over other regions due to lots of good water availability.
     
    The problem with blaming everything on climate change (with no actual evidence from the primary literature by the way) is that it is a distraction from the real problems and the real solutions.  The quote I pasted over on the Copenhagen thread is germane here (now that you brought it up):

    “for the money it would take to save one life with carbon cuts, smarter policies could save 78,000 lives”– Bjorn Lomborg
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704517504574589952331068322.html

    In other words, the best way to get drinking water for that African village is dig a well, not blame climate change and tax carbon (or whatever the trendy policy is these days).  I won’t argue here that climate change (whatever that conveniently vague phrase might mean) isn’t a problem, because it’s off topic.  What I will argue is that  climate change isn’t germane to this issue, which I thought was the cost of access to clean water for drinking or industry and how that related to Dayton’s future.

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  5. Greg Hunter January 17, 2010 / 12:10 pm
    Well it is nice to get discussion… and I think I understand both sides of the discourse…frustration about climate change as well a quest for the actual data about the complexities of the earth.
     
    To address trudicks (Come on that was funny) concerns… I am sorry but old Bjorn Lomborg has been the only shill the WSJ trots out, because that’s the audience who buys his books.  But as always, I just read the data and interpret the facts and as far as saying it correctly lets put my FAVORITE site on the task.  I think this quote from a Q&A with Bjorn should sum it up.
     

    Just ask yourself this question: Why has Lomborg decided to compare the efficacy of (largely theoretical) funding to stop global warming with his other priorities, like fighting malaria or ensuring clean water? If fighting malaria was his real goal, he could as easily have asked the question: Why don’t we divert to it some of the (large and nontheoretical) sums spent on, say, the military? The answer he gave when I asked this question at our dialogue was that he thought military spending was bad and that therefore it made more sense to compare global warming dollars with other “good” spending. But of course this makes less sense. If he thought that money spent for the military was doing damage, then he could kill two birds with one stone by diverting some of it to his other projects. Proposing that, though, would lose him much of the right-wing support that made his earlier book a best seller—he’d no longer be able to count on even The Wall Street Journal editorial page.

    As far as where the water resources people get there data it appears to be from the “Echo Chamber” or the Iron Triangle.  For an example of the hype associated with water I think this site would be a good model, but one can link to similar sites from the Water Innovations Alliance.   Please note that all the “investment opportunities” in water require new technology and increased energy use to achieve the goals.  If Dayton were to be a leader in this area we have the Pump Manufacturers (Flowserve) and Electric Motor Manufacturers (Robbins & Myers) as well as Process Engineers that can design systems that save money (energy, labor, maintenance) as well as save water, which can be exported world wide, if we only harnessed local talent.

    The point that can be made about Dayton is that we have abundant water and a great natural filter due to the glaciation of the area.  The problem is that there are no set of “well rounded” physical scientists and engineers that are involved in the discussion with the Powers that Be in Dayton.

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  6. jstults January 17, 2010 / 2:10 pm
    Greg:

    If Dayton were to be a leader in this area we have the Pump Manufacturers (Flowserve) and Electric Motor Manufacturers (Robbins & Myers) as well as Process Engineers that can design systems that save money (energy, labor, maintenance) as well as save water, which can be exported world wide…

    That sounds reasonable, and makes sense, build equipment or provide services that adds value and sell it to people.  It just smells like most of the ‘Dayton H2O is the future’ hype is modelled after the <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Music_Man”>The Music Man</a>.
     
    Ok, I’ll bite.  Lomborg might be a shill (is Nordhaus one too?), but it is a common tactic for climate policy advocates to play fast and loose with their discount rates so that climate policies look better than they really are when compared to other social spending.  I don’t think it is shilling to argue for a level playing field (and yes, if there actually were a level playing field plenty of military spending would be hard to justify, but that is a red herring).

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  7. jstults January 20, 2010 / 10:53 am
    Ok, it seems like folks here might be suffering from a bit of climate policy fatigue, but I’m really bothered by this, so at the risk of veering terribly off-topic, I’m commenting again (sorry to keep beating up on you truddick, you just happened to give voice to the meme):

    People who get their news from better sources than…If you’re not one of those who rejects data and expert opinion from those areas (much less one who misrepresents the situation and claims that disinterested experts are divided on the issues)

    This is a dishonest rhetorical tactic that is prevalent in popular discourse on environmental issues.  Policy advocates wrap themselves in the mantle of Science and call their questioners names (something along the lines of ‘fool who rejects expert opinion’).  This turns out to be a pretty effective combination of two fallacies (ad hominem and appeal to authority), because it is often quite right to dismiss fools who reject expert opinion.
     
    The problem with appeal to authority is it puts the authority’s credibility at issue, which is usually just a distraction from the primary thing we care about. In the case of climate change, the appeal is usually to the IPCC, which is purportedly supposed to provide a ‘literature review for the rest of us‘, but instead engages in stealth advocacy.  As to credibility, the IPCC has been shown to engage in laundering of the grey literature, substantial unscientific exaggeration (otherwise known as propaganda) and denigrating dissenting scientists who turned out to be correct as ‘voodoo priests’.  These are not behaviours I would expect based on what the organization claims about it’s purpose and methods (and how the popular press covers their pronouncements).
     
    What about ‘better news sources‘?  Surely they will report on this chicanery.  The problems David is so fond of pointing out over at DDN aren’t unique to Dayton.  Most ‘news’ is printed (or hosted) because someone has a vested interest in you seeing it, and that interest is often not in nurturing a well informed citizenry.
     
    I know we all have to take an experts opinion on faith every now and then because the world is too complex for us all to be experts in everything, but when purported experts make extraordinary claims we should be skeptical.  The things I linked to above don’t require a PhD in climatology to understand, they require basic fact checking: does a published journal article exist that supports the claim?  No?  Then claims of authority due to relying on peer-reviewed sources ring hollow.  Does the original author of the research (the actual expert) agree with the spin the IPCC put on his work? No?  Then public relations is probably taking precedence over reality.  There’s plenty of room for honest skepticism, don’t be so quick to blame questions on anti-intellectualism and low-brow-media brain-washing.

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  8. jstults January 26, 2010 / 8:07 am
    Lomborg isn’t the only one “shilling” about smarter policy (courtesy of Pielke):

    Deficits are not the only reason that aid budgets might change. Governments will also be increasing the money they spend to help reduce global warming. The final communiqué of the Copenhagen Summit, held last December, talks about mobilizing $10 billion per year in the next three years and $100 billion per year by 2020 for developing countries, which is over three quarters of all foreign aid now given by the richest countries.

    I am concerned that some of this money will come from reducing other categories of foreign aid, especially health. If just 1 percent of the $100 billion goal came from vaccine funding, then 700,000 more children could die from preventable diseases.

    — Bill Gates, 2nd annual letter from Gates Foundation

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  9. jstults April 13, 2010 / 5:15 pm
    From Pielke the elder:

    …there are unforseen costs when people alter their behavior in response to a change in public regulations on important resources.
    Water bills go up in down economy as usage drops

    Many water utilities are raising rates because water use is down, in part because manufacturers have closed or are cutting back, tourism has fallen and the real estate market is in the doldrums.
    […]
    Cities with high unemployment also have seen reduced water consumption as people move away in search of jobs, said Rob Renner, the foundation’s executive director.
    “It depends on where you are in the country. Regionally, the economy is better in some places than in others,” he said.

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