The University of Florida’s Center for Coastal Solutions (CCS) is partnering with analytics company SAS to study the factors that influence water quality in Charlotte Harbor.
The project will evaluate the connections between water quality and key economic sectors in the region. As part of the yearlong project, SAS and CCS will use SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure to develop a web-based water analytics platform to facilitate scientific research, visualize water quality conditions over time, and gain insights on effective clean water management techniques. SAS Viya is the company’s flagship AI, machine learning, analytics and data management platform.
An interdisciplinary team of CCS researchers – hydrologists, oceanographers, ecologists, economists and computer scientists – will use the data to investigate the connections between pollution, ocean circulation, coastal water quality, and economics and use satellite data to develop high-resolution water quality forecasting technology.
In a recent collaboration, CCS and SAS developed a pilot-scale platform to bring together massive amounts of water quality data from the Charlotte Harbor estuary in near-real time. The new project will expand on the successful Charlotte Harbor pilot to include the northern reaches of the harbor and associated tributaries. By integrating additional environmental and regional economic data from the watershed, CCS and SAS will explore a wider range of drivers affecting water quality in Charlotte Harbor and Peace River Basin and estimate the economic impacts of environmental changes throughout the region, the organizations say.
The economic impact of water is of top concern as scarcity issues increase, and companies are seeking ways to evaluate water risk. Recently, Ceres launched the Valuing Water Finance Initiative, a way for 72 corporate water users and polluters to consider water as a financial risk and to better protect water systems.
The Ceres Valuing Water Finance Initiative offers guidelines available to investors while also considering the full suite of water-related issues, from water availability and quality to board oversight and public policy engagement, Ceres says.
It also provides investors with the tools required to “make the case” for prioritizing water risk. The initiative prioritizes a set of six Corporate Expectations for Valuing Water, which align with the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goal for Water (SDG6).
As every industry consumes water for a variety of applications — including metal & mining, chemical processing, food & beverage, oil & gas, paper & pulp, and power generation — and these applications require water treatment chemicals to treat the usage of essential water, the demand for water treatment in the industrial sector is increasing.
This increase is also due to rapid industrialization in developing countries and substantial growth in several key markets. A digital platform that can help wastewater utilities manage aeration and chemical use — which will in turn help significantly reduce energy use — is being offered by Xylem.