Danish technology leads the way in California

Water and energy efficiency are well-established as areas of particular Danish expertise. Innovative and efficient technology makes it possible to create solutions, where for instance wastewater treatment plants produce more energy, than they consume, when treating wastewater. At the same time, an intelligently designed water network ensures a uniquely low water loss, when Danes are supplied with their drinking water. In the country’s second largest city, Aarhus, the water loss is as low as six per cent, while certain cities around the world experience a loss of more than 50 per cent.

These are the results of a year-long period of collaboration within the Danish water industry, where utilities and businesses together have refined and developed the knowledge and technology needed to use the water resources in the best way possible. This expertise is now being exported across the Atlantic. The first steps took place on April 4th in San Francisco, where several American and Danish decision makers and experts in the water business gathered together to learn from each other.

“This type of in-person cultural knowledge exchange, while rare, allows the world's most sustainable practices to be shared and implemented across the globe so we can achieve more together,” says Karen Kubick, Director at San Francisco’s Public Utilities Commission.

California first

The conference in San Francisco is the start of a joint venture, where a number of Danish water enterprises with the support of The Danish Industry Foundation and The Trade Council in Chicago are ready to join their American counterparts in a partnership. The collaboration is called Water Technology Alliance, and will initially focus its efforts on Californian water challenges, which are well documented and have at their root a scarcity of resources. And this is exactly where Danish knowledge might come in handy in solving The Golden State’s water issues.

"I am happy to see that Danish water technology companies have the expertise to help with the demand caused by the drought in California. The collaboration is a good example of how Danish research can take on international tasks beyond the borders of Denmark. Denmark and California can benefit from each other’s knowledge, and in the meantime also create jobs", Minister for Higher Education and Science Ulla Tørnæs says.

Opportunities ahead

The alliance is to forge closer ties between Danish and American enterprises, public authorities and educational and research institutions in the water sector, while also advancing the export of Danish water technology to the US. Grundfos is a member of the Water Technology Alliance, and the company is confident in its capability to make a difference in the United States.

“Grundfos is already strongly represented in the USA. The American market is very interesting to us, and we have a wide range of energy and water efficient technologies, which can make a difference in solving some of the challenges, the US is facing in terms of water,” says Kenth Hvid Nielsen, Group Vice President at Grundfos.

The US pump market is the world’s largest, and on a national scale, the Americans have the ambition of lowering water consumption by 33 per cent. This ambition recently was introduced at a meeting at The White House, where Grundfos was also represented.

In addition to Grundfos, the Water Technology Alliance includes Danfoss, Kamstrup, Rambøll, Aarhus Vand, Applied Biomimetic, Smith Innovation, Skytem, DHI and Leif Koch.