DENVER — CH2M HILL is launching WaterMatch, a grassroots, goodwill initiative to help municipalities, industries, and agriculture find each other and collaborate to conserve fresh water and promote community and economic development. WaterMatch is a social networking site that promotes the beneficial reuse of municipal effluent for industrial and agricultural use at the local level. The website uses social networking and geospatial mapping to connect water generators with water users. Once online, water users will use the WaterMatch Map to find wastewater treatment plants close to their current and potential future operations and then use the social networking function to connect with the utilities operating those plants.
Why is this needed?
The global statistics are well known: 1.2 billion people lack access to improved water supply and 2.4 billion people are without access to sanitation. Water scarcity and real life stories of impacts to people, ecosystems and businesses around the world — in developed and developing countries — are regularly in every media publication. Looking forward, population growth will increase the number of water-stressed areas around the world.
Water reuse is a proven, effective way to conserve limited water resources with numerous benefits to communities, companies, and the environment. Yet reuse rates are low. According to Global Water Intelligence, municipal effluent reuse rates are: U.S. 14 percent, China 14 percent, Mexico 4 percent, and Spain 11 percent. WaterMatch will provide industry and agriculture with a way to connect with municipalities to use effluent in their operations, thus linking to secure water resources so they’re not relying on fresh water supplies.
“We are launching WaterMatch to start a grassroots revolution to promote progress through partnerships and projects on the ground,” says CH2M HILL Vice President Jan Dell. “This virtual meeting place will enable local action on a global basis.”
Support of global business and municipalities
WaterMatch has the support of more than 200 global businesses through the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, IPIECA (the global organization of oil and gas companies), and numerous individual municipalities.
“Initiatives like WaterMatch are a step forward in responsible water management and partnerships between industries and municipalities. We’re excited to be a part of this program,” says Jon Freedman, Global Government Relations Leader for GE Power & Water, Water & Process Technologies.
Worldwide launch at WEFTEC
The WaterMatch social networking site will be officially launched in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Convention Center West Hall, Room 4763 on Oct. 18 at 1:30 p.m. during the Water Environment Federation’s annual conference. Supporters scheduled to speak during the WaterMatch launch include:
•CH2M HILL Water Business Group President Bob Bailey
•CH2M HILL Vice President and WaterMatch Creator Jan Dell
•Water Environment Federation Chief Technical Officer Eileen O’Neill
•American Water Intelligence Managing Director Jack Ceadel
•WBCSD Representative & GE Power and Water, Global Leader, Government Relations Jon Freedman
•IPIECA Water Task Force Leader Karl Fennessey
•West Basin Municipal Utility District Manager of Business Development and Regulatory Affairs Joe Walters
•Cincinnati Metropolitan Sewer District Deputy Director Biju George
•ConocoPhillips Director of Doha Water Sustainability Center Dr. Samer Adham
WaterMatch is not a commercial initiative for CH2M HILL. No fees will be required or requested for the use of the website. The privacy of municipality profiles and user account information will be protected.
“Our motive is simple: to promote beneficial water reuse around the world today,” adds Dell. “We hope that you will join us and help make matches happen, because no water should be wasted.”
The WaterMatch website is now live at: www.ch2mhill.com/watermatch.