Water & Wastewater Asia Jan/Feb 2019

Water & Wastewater Asia • January / February 2019 OPINION | 49 WATER-ENERGY NEXUS IN BUILDINGS Addressing the conservation challenges and building the foundation of a smart city calls for smart technologies and strategies that holistically consider how water and energy play into each other in different systems across different sectors and industries. One area we can look at is the high-rise energy-intensive building – a trademark of megacities. Buildings account for more than 40 per cent of the world’s total energy consumption, and for 24 per cent of CO2 emissions, using energy for cooling, heating, ventilation, lights and water. In order for us to truly achieve energy and water savings in buildings, we need to look beyond energy-efficient office designs all the way down to the hardware of buildings. Take for example pumps, which play a crucial role in everything from providing drinking water for the high-rise buildings, treating and removing wastewater from industrial processes, and heating and cooling households and offices. Because of this, pumps consume a lot of energy to move all this water, accounting for a staggering 10 per cent of the global electricity consumption. There is also a major opportunity to reduce water losses along the supply chain. A mismanagement of water pressures in the process causes unnecessary stresses on pipes, leading to leakages and water wastage during the process. MANAGING WATER INTELLIGENTLY Ensuring that pumps operate efficiently can not only enable companies to produce more with less, but also prevent unnecessary waste of resources such as energy and water. With this aim, Grundfos has leveraged digitalisation to come up with iSOLUTIONS – a range of products with a focus on connectivity, intelligent monitoring and adjustment features, optimising energy efficiency across different systems. Demonstrating this approach to intelligent pumping solutions is the MAGNA3 circulation pump. Utilising built-in sensors and Grundfos’ AUTOADAPT software, the pumps instinctively adjust its operations based on changes in demand, which ensures that pump systems run only when needed, thereby halving the amount of electricity consumed by traditional pumps that operate at a constant rate. Ensuring that the water infrastructure is pressurised to only the necessary degree, as opposed to operating at a constant rate, also dramatically reduces wear and tear, and from there water loss through leaks in the system. The benefits of the resulting efficiency are multi-fold – from financial savings due to reduced energy consumption to a lower carbon footprint and increased resource security, it also aids multiple facets of development of a smart and sustainable city. ROLE OF REGULATIONS IN ENSURING EFFICIENCY To encourage adoption of technology with greater consideration of water and energy efficiency in cities of the future, regulatory enforcement can play a key role. L a y i n g o u t m i n i m u m requirements for water reuse, energy efficiency and comfort, building rating schemes are an important policy lever that can provide regular feedback about the energy andwater efficiency of individual buildings. It also serves to inform whether progress is beingmade towards the broader buildings sectors’ efficiency improvements. For example, Singapore has implemented the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Green Mark Scheme in recent years, with Grundfos proudly being one of the few Platinum-rated Green Mark Buildings in Singapore. BCA targets getting 80 per cent of buildings in Singapore achieve Green Mark standards by 2030 and is looking at making it compulsory for commercial buildings to disclose their energy performance in the future. CONCLUSION Both water and energy management present some of the biggest socio-economic-ecological challenges in the face of the boom inmegacities. The transition of a megacity into a smart city calls for bothwater and energy efficiency across different sectors and industries and the only way we can achieve this is by understanding the intricacies of the water-energy nexus. This is where Governments can play a critical role by setting minimum water and energy standards. Integrated thinking and approach on energy and water is essential to mitigate future stresses. There needs to be a high degree of focus on developing and adopting solutions that are truly sustainable. WWA All images are credited to Grundfos. Grundfos’ MAGNA3 circulation pump