The US continues to face still more challenges as a result of its aging water infrastructure. As the demand for better water infrastructure from the US citizens is growing, action as well as input is needed. To promote exchange of knowledge between Denmark and the US, the Danish Embassy hosted a lunch briefing in cooperation with the Congressional Clean Water Caucus at the US Capitol.
Between 2013-2020, the cumulative cost from degrading water/wastewater infrastructure will be more than doubled according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. The overall cost for residential units is predicted to exceed $59 billion, whereas it is expected to be more than $147 billion for businesses. The objective of the lunch briefing in the US Capitol was to highlight how modern wastewater treatment facilities can be net positive energy producers and a very good investment business case.
Clean Water Caucus welcome Danish input
At the Capitol lunch, Congressmen and co-chairs of the Clean Water Caucus, Mr. Dan Lipinski and Mr. John Duncan stressed that we cannot take water resources for granted, and that a large-scale transition of the water sector in the US is necessary. The Congressmen welcomed the input from Denmark and remarked that the lessons from Denmark can serve as inspiration for the US infrastructure bill.
The lunch briefing featured Energy Analyst at the International Energy Agency Ms. Molly Walton, who presented the current state of the US water infrastructure. Walton put great emphasis on how potential energy savings could be achieved in the US water sector by optimizing the process. Subsequently, Marketing Director at Danfoss, Mr. Bioma Morray presented the net energy positive wastewater treatment facility in Marselisborg, Denmark, as the first case study. He was followed by Mr. Tom Kunetz from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, who went into details on recovering resources and converting wastewater into biomass and thus a source of sustainable energy.
Finally, Ms. Maureen Holman from DC Water provided unique best practices from Washington DC, highlighting the alternative financing opportunities such as green bonds.
The lunch briefing showed how mutual beneficial synergies arise from increased cooperation between Denmark and the US. If you want to see how the lunch briefing unfolded, check out our video from the event below: