The latest industry news and happenings this month straight from the desk of ND's editor.

U.S. Ranks Third in Water Consumption

A study conducted by two engineers at the University of Twente in the Netherlands calculated how much water is used around the world and what countries have the highest consumption rates. According to their research, more than 9 billion cubic meters of water are used around the world each year. The countries with the greatest annual consumption of water:

  • China – 1,207 billion cubic meters
  • India – 1,182 billion cubic meters
  • United States – 1,053 billion cubic meters

“After the U.S., the amount of water consumed per country drops significantly,” notes Klaus Reichardt, CEO and founder of Waterless Co. “Brazil, which is next on the list, uses less than half of what is consumed in the U.S.”

However, the study shows the amount of water consumed on a per capita basis can vary significantly. Even though it is number three on the top 10 list, the United States has the highest per capita water footprint at 2,842 cubic meters per person.

This amount consumed per person can depend greatly on a country’s eating habits. For instance, the United States is considered to be a big consumer of meat. And, significant amounts of water are used to raise cattle and process the meat. In contrast, in India, few people consume meat. As a result, the country’s per capita consumption of water is less than 1,400 cubic meters per year, essentially half of what is consumed in the United States.

“Right now, the U.S. actually is a net exporter of water,” says Reichardt. “We export water in the form of food and products. However, this may change as we and other countries grapple with water shortages and the rising cost of water.”

The top 10 water-consuming countries in the world:

  • China
  • India
  • United States
  • Brazil
  • Russia
  • Indonesia
  • Pakistan
  • Mexico
  • Japan
  • Nigeria

NGWA's New Science Director

William Alley has been named director of science and technology for the National Ground Water Association (NGWA).

Alley recently retired after 18 years as chief of the Office of Ground Water at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). He will assume his NGWA post Nov. 13.

“NGWA aspires to be the leading ground water association advocating for the responsible development, management and use of water. Bill Alley will help us get there,” says NGWA chief executive officer Kevin McCray. “I can think of no one better equipped to help NGWA be a 21st century international leader in the dissemination of ground water-related scientific and technical information. Bill’s depth and breadth of experience will be a real asset in NGWA’s development of policy to wisely use and protect the planet’s ground water resources.”

Alley’s NGWA job responsibilities:

  • Assuring the scientific and technical accuracy of information disseminated by NGWA,
  • Being the scientific liaison between NGWA and government agencies, international organizations, and related nongovernmental organizations, and
  • Assisting in the development of conferences and other professional development programs.

During his USGS career, Alley was a hydrologist in the Colorado District’s Surface Water Branch, Systems Analysis Group. He also served as the ground water coordinator in the National Water Quality Assessment Program, and coordinator of the Regional Aquifer System Analysis Program.

A long-time NGWA member and volunteer, Alley has been a director of the NGWA Scientists and Engineers Division, served on various committees and task groups, and co-chaired the 2007 NGWA Ground Water Summit.

His honors include serving as the 2012 David Keith Todd Distinguished Lecturer for the Groundwater Resources Association of California, being named Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2009, and receiving the E. Benjamin Nelson Government Service Award of the Groundwater Foundation in 2007, the NGWA John Hem Excellence in Science and Engineering Award in 2001, and a Meritorious Presidential Rank Award in 2006.

Cerus Industrial Is Aquired

Franklin Electric Co. recently announced that it has acquired Cerus Industrial Inc., based in Hillsboro, Ore. Cerus designs, manufactures and distributes motor controls, motor starters, contactors, protection devices, and variable-frequency drives to a wide range of distributor and original equipment manufacturers in North America that serve three primary markets – HVAC, industrial motor sales and service, and pumping systems. 2011 sales for Cerus were approximately $14.0 million.

Franklin Electric has agreed to pay $25.7 million in an all-cash transaction. The company believes Cerus will be accretive to 2013 earnings per share.

Scott Trumbull, Franklin chairman and chief executive officer, comments: “Cerus has deep technical and manufacturing strengths in several areas that are of strategic interest to Franklin Electric, including variable frequency drives, starters, and control panels. The demand for electronic drives and controls for pumping applications is growing rapidly because these devices allow our customers to reduce energy cost, increase system life, and manage system parameters such as pressure and flow. We believe that the Cerus acquisition will enable us to further accelerate our growth by increasing our technical and product development capacity, broadening our product line, reducing our manufacturing costs, and moving us into adjacent market areas.”

Jubilee Begins a New Chapter

In case you hadn’t noticed, there’ve been some more-than-subtle changes in the water well drilling world in the past five years. As drillers and water professionals adapt to the shifting landscape, so do other players in the market – e.g., manufacturers and suppliers, industry regulators, trade publications and member associations. The South Atlantic Well Drillers Jubilee is no exception, and in next month’s issue, we’ll give you the full report on this year’s Jubilee, which took place in Virginia Beach, Va.