Entering a New Year, we often reflect on the previous one. What exactly are we looking for as we study the past … what we did … what we could have done better … how much we have changed or grown? As we examine the water industry at the end of 2015, one major trend is a shift in thought or philosophy. Traditionally, the water industry has been divided into four segments — industrial, municipal, commercial and residential. Each segment handles its filtering, treating and moving as required by regulations and for the water’s intended use. In 2015, the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation’s (WEF) major conferences shared the theme of water as one resource, finite and in need of protection.

In addition, the adoption of alternative water treatment and usage methods, such as recycling, reuse and desalination, is becoming commonplace in many areas. Sometimes, the adoption is out of necessity (regulations or scarcity). In other situations, reuse makes good business sense. As Snehal Desai, global business director of Dow Water & Process Solutions, said in “The state of water” on page 12, “We’re seeing water reuse as it applies to a circular economy emerging as an industry megatrend — which will become the ‘new normal.’”

No water segment is a separate entity, and it all must be seen as a resource. According to Eileen O’Neill, executive director of WEF, “WEF has been one of the leaders of this sector-wide sea change, including changing the term ‘wastewater treatment facilities’ to ‘water resource recovery facilities’ in all of our publications.”

As these trends and megatrends travel across all water industry segments, current and new technologies will be required, which is why we coupled this important “The state of water” report with Water Technology’s Buyer’s Guide this year. The manufacturers and service providers in this issue’s Buyer’s Guide provide technology that will help water treatment professionals in all segments of the industry efficiently and effectively treat water for a constant, safe supply and a healthier environment.