The dark side of globalization
Kurt C. Peterson, Publisher
As most know (unless you’ve been practicing survival skills on a deserted island since last November), we live in an age of emerging contaminants, infectious diseases and, in our older years, a host of medical issues. It’s no wonder people tend to not only express concern, but openly panic in response.
As many of our industry players are involved in bottled water production and sale, we want to know how you are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic as it makes its presence known in America. In addition to hoarding, we now have social distancing, event cancellations, travel disruptions and serious adverse impacts on business, all of which are adding to the panic reaction seen on Wall Street. If hoarding (in this sense) is a response to panic and water is life, how does our industry best deal with it?
An advisory from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce has provided further detailed guidance on identifying essential critical infrastructure workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Broadly, DHS has included as essential all the roles workers in the water treatment industry play in delivering clean, safe water—from manufacturing through the entire chain of distribution to delivery and installation, including technical professionals, service providers, product installers, repair and parts replacement workers and supporting operations workers.
At press time, a great many events listed on our website are noted as postponed or cancelled. We’ll keep a close eye on this so we can add future dates, should show hosts find a better time to hold their events. Be ready for interactive format meetings and events as a replacement for large-scale conventions. Some have been postponed to the later months of the year, adding travel challenges due to winter weather impacts, while others have been cancelled outright. If, as a vendor or attendee, you receive notification of an event cancellation that we haven’t noted, please do send it to us. We strive to keep our calendar as up-to-date as possible.
This being the commercial/industrial issue, we’re featuring a technical article on each topic. Matthew Wirth of Pargreen Water Technologies presents an in-depth article on what happens when organics intrude on commercial RO systems. Remember, in large applications, failure is not an option! On the industrial side of things, reuse has been emerging in many larger manufacturing operations, as well as in the wastewater industry. Due to the finite supply of water usable for drinking and cooking, efforts should continue to be made to find and utilize non-potable water on a larger scale everywhere.
Greg Reyneke, MWS, of Redfox Advisors, writes a column every other month that is dedicated to helping you improve your business. Tech tips, common-sense approaches and more are what he offers. This month, he takes on a special subject: how to manage risk in a crisis situation. He notes that although we can’t predict or plan for every eventuality, or control what happens, we can always control how we respond.
Our Public Health Editor, Kelly Reynolds, MSPH, PhD, is a nationally noted microbiologist on whom we rely heavily for the latest and greatest information that concerns all things water. This month, she focuses on the possibility of waterborne transmission of COVID-19, based on what a recent Water Research Foundation webinar of experts discussed and what our industry can do to reassure the public we are right there with them in this fight.
We would like to take this opportunity to say goodbye to our former Editor, Darlene Scheel. We were notified of her passing late last year. Scheel joined WC&P in the summer of 1985 as a part-time staffer under Editor and Publisher, Jerry Peterson. She came to the magazine with no prior magazine experience, but was well-versed in newspaper reporting in her previous assignments in Michigan and Florida. Scheel was pivotal to the continued success of WC&P during her seven years as Editor and retired from the company in 1994.
In closing, please keep abreast of what is happening in your area through valid information sources and follow the guidance set forth by your health department or local government. Help stop the panic!