Long showers and lawn sprinklers certainly don't save any water, but the reality is that industrial water use represents a whopping 20% of all water consumed in the world. GE's TrueSense technology platform, announced today, attempts to make it easier for manufacturers to cut down on water consumption by re-using cooling water—a major source of water waste in many industrial processes.
As it stands, a medium-sized industrial cooling tower sucks up approximately 1.5 million gallons of fresh water each day, or the equivalent of two and a half Olympic pools. That's because fresh water is continuously added to cooling systems in order to keep water chemistries just right. But GE claims that its technology can slash the amount of fresh water required by up to 20% and save $400,000 each year, all with an iPad-sized water monitoring system and a few Web-based diagnostic tools.
TrueSense consists of three main elements: TrueSense Online for Cooling, TrueSense Personal Water Analytics (PWA), and TrueSense View. The TrueSense Online system measures core chemistries in cooling water (i.e. orthophosphate, chlorine, and bromine), the portable PWA measures critical chemistries with a 3 ml water sample in a matter of minutes (compared to half an hour for most portable testing devices), and the View suite of management software tools does everything from diagnosing problems to reporting on performance indicators.
This kind of ultra-accurate water diagnostics system has obvious monetary benefits, but it could also help curb our impending water crisis. And if we do that, maybe an extra-long shower every once in awhile won't be so bad after all.