Archive: Apr 2014

The Waterworks Industry Prepares for the Future Where Keeping Water Pumping and Flowing Will Continue to be Critical

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Each day, water utilities and other companies in the waterworks industry face challenges, some more critical than others. For example, the current California drought affects the waterworks industry and millions of people in the state, with repercussions in other industries and other states and locations around the world. The agriculture industry is affected, with limited irrigation abilities. Water conservation is being encouraged everywhere. Unfortunately, things don’t seem to be changing any time in the near future.

waterLast week, the U.S. Drought Monitor website, produced through a partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations, reported, “The benefits of the February and early-March precipitation rapidly diminished across California and the Southwest as unseasonable warmth and dryness increased water demands and depleted snowpacks.” A recent report in the New York Times, says, “There are scenes all across California that illustrate the power of the drought… People are watering trees with discarded dishwater, running the washing machine once a week, and letting their carefully tended beds of flowers and trees wither into patches of dusty dirt.”

California’s water woes illustrate the waterworks industry’s responsibilities and challenges faced in just one state. But these responsibilities and challenges, plus people’s overall reliance on the waterworks industry is a global challenge that is expected to become even more critical with time.

Common themes seem to be repeated in waterworks industry reports and news, including:

  • Drought is expected to continue in California for some time into the future.
  • The global population will keep growing, placing increasing demand on the world’s water supplies in the coming years and decades. In one industry report about the UK, alone, they predict “35% growth in water demand could be possible by 2050 due to population growth.”
  • The aging water infrastructure in the U.S. and around the world will need to be refurbished or replaced in the very near future to keep things pumping and flowing and to continue to meet global water supply demands.

Reporting on the aging U.S. water infrastructure, an American Water white paper, “Challenges in the Water Industry: Infrastructure and its Role in Water Supply,” says, “Today, this massive water supply system, serving 240 million Americans, is in serious need of replacement, upgrading and maintenance if it is to continue to support a growing U.S. population.”

While the challenges may change as the population grows and technology advances, the waterworks industry will continue to be charged with the responsibility of finding water resources, treating the water so that it’s consumable, and keeping the water flowing to where it’s needed most. Centrifugal clutches play a role in keeping the water flowing and pumping in all types of waterworks facilities. Compressors, engines, pumps, and generators often include and rely on centrifugal clutches. Through our experience manufacturing centrifugal clutches for a wide variety of industries, including the waterworks industry, we’ve seen first-hand how critical it is to keep things pumping and flowing in the waterworks industry. At BLM Automatic Clutch, we’re ready to partner with and assist companies in the waterworks industry to help overcome whatever challenges flow our way.