The cost of water is rising and centralized water reuse requires rigid upfront investment

Cost of non-reused water is increasing due to higher contamination and poor wastewater management standards; The cost of energy required for treatment is also on the rise, and centralized water reuse requires large up-front-investment for grid and plant, further challenging scaling and responsiveness to changes.

  • Do you agree this is a major barrier to water reuse?
  • Do you know of any specific innovations currently trying to address this problem?

The cost of the water is not only for the procedures but also for unpredictable toxic elements that appear in the font. That constitutes a problem in the long term specially and because the solution needs new filters, membranes and sometimes with poisoning elments and hard metals no solution to the initial investition made.

@madagnino, @rgovind837, I wonder if you have thoughts on this as well?

Thanks again @GREENLY, I’m curious about the second half of this question. Do you know of any specific innovations currently trying to address the problem of up-front capital costs?

OR have we seen any evidence of costs decreasing in any specific areas of this space? i.e. pipes, pumps, membrane technology etc.

Normally the techonologies used increase their costs for small plants due to the use of energy and membranes and supervision that basically are present anyway no matter the size of the goup to serve. Greenly is not the case. We could adjust costs because of non operation costs or change of pieces.

I’d like to also put this question to you, @cinzia91 and @aninim. Please let us know! Thank you.

Graphene based solutions may offer promise to filter out pollutants in water.

Natural solutions have also been trialled, such as wetlands with plants that are able to absorb toxins.

(Of course any power requirements for pumps (etc.) could benefit from reusable energy sources, e.g. solar.)

The important thing is to simplified and sustainable processes and the use or solar energy. GREENLY mixes both. Please visit

@clipchin, @Wataaru, @bramberkelmans, I’d like to ask your advice on @TerryMulligan’s question as well: Do you know of any specific innovations currently trying to address the problem of up-front capital costs?

Or have you seen any evidence of costs decreasing in specific areas of this space? i.e. pipes, pumps, membrane technology, etc.


@akb Thank you for your interesting comment. Can you share examples of innovations using natural solutions for water treatment (specifically the use of plants)? Can these treat contaminated wastewater to a potable level?

@Eti Thank you for your interest.
A range of natural solutions are available for helping with water treatment processes, such as:

  • biological degradation of organic pollutants via plants / micro-organisms
  • filtering of particles via slow moving water in wetlands; and
  • absorption of toxic heavy metals by plants.

It is unlikely that any one natural solution, alone, can produce potable water (of satisfactory drinking quality). However, it does represent a significant opportunity for producing water for agricultural use, and for use by populations for cleaning and washing activities. It also represents a useful first stage in water treatment processes that do produce potable water.

Producing potable water requires attention to many aspects as illustrated in the WHO’s Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality. This probably illustrates why a group of water treatment processes are typically required. [Although a future radical innovation might change this one day, perhaps using nanotechnology…]

Some natural examples are included below.

Biological Drinking Water Treatment? Naturally

Plants That Remove Contaminants From the Environment

Efficacy of accumulation on heavy metals from aqueous solution using water hyacinth (Eichhornia Crassipes) - water hyacinth was tested for removal of four heavy metals chromium, lead, cadmium, and zinc. Up to 63% of heavy metals were removed.

Thanks, @akb! This is super helpful!

@tommyngai, @yorammo, I’d also like to ask you, in case you’re aware of more innovations that use natural solutions for water treatment?

@ilanle, I saw you mentioned the cost element in our prize competition directions polls, so I thought you might want to take a look at this discussion as well.

The matter of costs is strongly related to the sustainability of the system in the matter of operation since growing contammination of sources do not alloe to treat same font of water and that changes normally costs.