Viewpoint: The outlook for the future is not blurry
Kurt C. Peterson, Publisher
As we move into the final months of the year, we can acknowledge the industry has been through a very trying period and there is probably more to come. Anxiety over a multitude of issues (not the least of which includes COVID-19, a possible recession on the horizon, election issues and more) should not be what defines 2020. Instead, our responses should determine what comes next.
During the Great Recession, water treatment businesses changed in numerous ways to meet the demands of a crashed economy. Some survived by branching out into different aspects of water treatment, bottled water, even pool and spa treatment. Others tried but didn’t survive. The lessons learned then should be revisited and revised as necessary to meet new and ongoing challenges. With no way to predict the end or better management of COVID-19 and no crystal ball to predict what direction the economy will take, many have wondered if they might survive the current state of affairs. The answer during the Great Recession was, “You won’t if you don’t try.” What will your answer be this time?
Water and air are the most basic needs for almost all living things. We have treatment options for both, tackling a host of contaminants, both man-made and natural. We focus this month on groundwater and arsenic, closely intertwined. The Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF) has undertaken a massive study to map water quality, reported on by WQRF Relations & Research Manager, Kim Redden. This new resource “provides access to an immense amount of data for groundwater and customized searches for researching contaminants, systems and source waters” on a scale never before imagined.
Arsenic is a huge problem in the US, more so in the Southwest than other places, though its occurrence is widespread. With all of the coverage about this ubiquitous contaminant, one aspect has not been covered in WC&P: arsenic toxicity. This is tackled most ably by Technical Reviewer Gary Battenberg of Argonide Corporation. Also of importance when discussing arsenic, Rick Andrew reviews the testing and certification of POU RO systems for removing it.
In a slightly different vein but most important especially for the western US states suffering from one conflagration after another, Public Health Editor Kelly A. Reynolds provides an in-depth look at what happens to water quality in the aftermath of wildfires. In light of the heightened level of concern about climate change and how it affects wildfire season in the West, there are aspects of water contamination that must be resolved before fire refugees can begin their long path back to normalcy.
There are numerous problems facing both the world and our industry these days and that doesn’t appear likely to change for some time to come. Whether it’s learning more about water treatment or coming to the rescue of those who need the assurance of safe, clean water, it’s the industry’s best chance to be the front line of that rescue effort. Be the hero people need in troubled times…and let that be your best investment for the future.