By Karen R. Smith

Summer has begun across the northern hemisphere and there have already been some blazing temperatures in the western United States. Water will once again take center stage in the news, as higher temperatures increase consumption in drought-struck regions. Wherever you are, please help local government conservation efforts during the dry days ahead. For example, find out about sponsoring hydrant sprinkler caps and reap marketing benefits while helping your community.

Or, consider lending your expertise and support to those attempting to make potable water available to people without it. The Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design birthed the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) project, which aims to create new products and services that improve daily life and generate sustainable economic growth in the developing world’s impoverished cities.

Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) is providing a $25,000 grant to support the BoP efforts to design simple, cost-effective ways to transport and distribute drinking water in the slums of Mumbai, India. One concept already under development is “MobileH2O,” a door-to-door water delivery service facilitated by wireless technology. Service vendors on mopeds or other locally suitable transportation would deliver clean water directly to the homes of slum residents, who would pay electronically with smart-cards issued by a banking partner. Currently residents must wait for hours in queues and sometimes travel long distances for access to water.

ResinTech’s Dick Chmielewski is providing a priceless resource to the U.S. Peace Corps—himself! He has taken leave of the company to serve two years with the Corps. Many others in our industry give their vacations over to volunteer work both in America and abroad. Tell us your experiences and we will be able to keep all our readers abreast of how you’re helping and where.

On the legislative front, challenges to the industry continue. If the shelves at the supermarket are any indicator, today’s villains are sugar and salt. All the new product labels shout that they are free of one or the other as if it were a badge of honor. These are the same items that last year were low-carb or no-carb…and the year before were ‘lite’ or low-cal. Progress? Fad is more likely. Yet one we need to stay on top of as it makes us a target for over-zealous legislation.

In the U.K., the British Water Quality Group’s website is chock-full of facts and illustrations on the benefits of water softening via ion exchange, designed to educate consumers and put the current anti-sodium craze into scientific perspective. Such education is our best outreach tool. Do visit for ideas on your own efforts.

We’re very pleased to be bringing you a roundup of AirWater manufacturers. Are these the right new product for your dealership? Read on and decide for yourself!

Now is the time to make your reservations to attend the upcoming regional WQA conferences: Texans will gather this month at The Woodlands resort beginning on July 20th; Kansans on August 11th in Medicine Lodge and before you know it, it will be WQA Mid-Year Leadership Conference in Quebec.

Most importantly, please be aware that to serve you better, we’ve made a significant change in our editorial calendar. September will now be our bottled water issue so that we can distribute copies of the magazine at the huge IBWA show. Our International Issue will therefore move to October as a result. We make every effort to provide value-added opportunities to our advertisers—and the opportunity for education and expansion for our readers as well.

If you normally attend the IBWA show in October, make sure you change your calendars to the new dates: September 27-30. See you in Orlando!


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