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Wrapping up 2020, take a look at the top 5 innovations in water quality technology
Source: Water Quality Products Magazine

Top 5 Innovations in Water Quality Technology of 2020
Source: Water Quality Products Magazine
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

As a professional in the water treatment industry, you are likely impressed with just how far water quality technologies have come in a mere year. Advancements in technology and improved techniques this year look set to stick around for years to come. 

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top five innovations of water quality technology in 2020. 

Image Credit: Hung/
Image Credit: Hung/
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Smart Home & IoT

It was only a matter of time before the digital age met the water industry. There are several smart home technologies that have seen a surge in popularity in 2020, thanks to their ability to not only prevent water-related disasters, but also make it easy to monitor water usage on a day-by-day basis. 

Perhaps the most impressive smart home water device is the Wi-Fi smart water leak detector, which monitors whole home water flow and usage in plumbing and water-based appliances. 

Users can place these sensors in specific locations around their home, and the sensors will alert them via a notification to a phone app if water is detected where it should not be. Provided these sensors are placed within 6 feet of a water source, they should be able to detect a leak. They also allow homeowners to monitor their daily water usage, again via an app, and make note of where they could save money on their water bill. 

Manufacturers are also now introducing smartphone apps that can be linked up to whole house water filters and water softeners via Wi-Fi. These allow for remote system management, enabling users to monitor their system, receive alerts for potential issues, and even input certain programming features from their smart device. Rather than having to access the control panel of their filtration system or water softener, users can simply view all the important data in one place on a designated app.

Image Credit: Teracreante /
Image Credit: Teracreante /
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Decentralized Water Recycling for Small Scale Applications 

Messy, temperamental DIY solutions were once the only option when it came to recycling greywater in homes and small commercial businesses, such as hotels. However, 2020 has seen the introduction of greywater treatment and recycling solutions, which enable home and business owners to reduce their water consumption and contribute towards an overall improvement in commercial and residential water conservation.

The global water shortage crisis is no secret, and it looks as if we are finally seeing the emergence of reasonable solutions that we can all implement to do our part in reducing water shortage. This is particularly beneficial to those living in states that are hit hardest by drought, such as Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and California. 

Decentralized water recycling systems can collect hundreds of gallons of water per year. Most of these systems divert greywater from bathtubs, showers, sinks and laundry drains, then disinfect and filter it, making the water safe and suitable for use in irrigation and similar applications. Not only can they help property owners to cut down on water bills, but they are also one of the greatest eco-friendly water solutions of the decade.  

These systems are becoming smarter, as well, making them easier to maintain and expanding their lifespans. For instance, the first greywater recycling systems would treat water solely with filters, which inevitably clogged and required maintenance. The best greywater recycling systems today use disinfection technology to recycle water, removing dirt and pollution, and making it suitable for reuse in a home or business.

Image Credit: Volff /
Image Credit: Volff /
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Atmospheric Water Generation (AWG)

Creating drinking water from air is something that is certainly possible, but it has taken until 2020 for atmospheric water generation (AWG) to move beyond being a concept and morph into a reality. Designed in response to the growing problem of water depletion across the world, AWG technology is designed to extract water from air with high humidity levels. 

When air enters an atmospheric water generator, water vapor is extracted using the process of condensation. Air is either pressurized or cooled below its cool point to make this possible. There are also desiccant-based AWGs, which send humid air over a salt mixture to extract water vapor. 

Some atmospheric water generators on the market require electricity to operate, but the newer designs use other sources of energy, such as solar power, which makes them a more accessible option for remote installation. 

AWG technology could be a game-changer for developing nations, where access to clean water may be a struggle in years to come. Some AWG systems can do more than just provide water; they also act as an electricity source and provide emergency supplies in response to a natural disaster.

Image Credit: Bianca /
Image Credit: Bianca /
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting is a concept that has really come to fruition in 2020. This innovative technology has become a viable option for businesses and homes across the world, making smart use of the rainwater that oftentimes disappears down our drains. 

In most rainwater harvesting models, rainwater is collected from the roof of a building. It can then be reused in a number of applications both inside and outside of a home or business, helping users to save money on water bills and move towards a more sustainable way of living.  

Like greywater, rainwater can be recycled in appliances such as toilets and washing machines. Rainwater harvesting technologies can even prevent flooding, as they collect water from rainfall first, taking the pressure off nearby storm drains. 

Rainwater harvesting is a commonsense approach to recycling readily available water to the benefit of businesses and individuals. Rainwater is harvested in a five-stage process after entering the storage tank, starting with pre-filtration and ending with point-source of treatment. Depending on the desired use of this harvested rainwater, a rainwater harvesting system should be tailored to ensure the treated water meets the water quality requirements. 

Image Credit: helivideo /
Image Credit: helivideo /
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Wave-Powered Desalination

Most people were educated on the dangers of drinking seawater when they were children, but it has now become possible to turn seawater into drinking water in the process of wave-powered desalination. 

This technology uses wave energy converters and large storage containers to harness the unpredictable power of waves, delivering clean water to those who need it most, including developing countries and island nations. Resorts, private islands and coastal communities will also benefit from wave-powered desalination. 

The genius of this idea is that industrial-scale technologies will not need to be built to make this concept possible, as micro-scale solutions can be implemented on a need-by-need basis. 

Ocean waves are both inexhaustible and renewable, making wave-power desalination one of the most environmentally-friendly means of generating clean drinking water. While this technology has been in production for just under a decade, 2020 is the year that it has finally come to light. No electricity is required for wave-power desalination, and only a low level of maintenance is necessary. 

Wrapping Up

2020 has been a year of innovation in the water quality industry, with the advancement of technologies that will not only make the lives of the average home or business owner more convenient but also provide a means to change our impact on the world in a dramatic way. 

If this is how far the industry has come in the short space of 12 months, it is enticing to think about what lies 12 months ahead. No doubt there will be even greater innovation than what has come about this year—and that is certainly something to be excited about.  


Brian Campbell founder for Campbell can be reached at or on twitter @WF_Guru.

What is the quality of your water? What are some ways you can improve or keep your water quality at drinking level? What other ways can you recycle?

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Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Charged In Flint Water Crisis

January 13, 20218:23 PM ET
Source: NPR

Brakkton Booker at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., November 7, 2018. (photo by Allison Shelley)
Brakkton Bookert
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook
Source: NPR
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

The Flint Water Plant tower in Flint, Mich., where drinking water became tainted after the city switched from the Detroit system and began drawing from the Flint River in April 2014 to save money.Carlos Osorio/AP

Updated at 9:28 p.m. ET

Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was charged Wednesday for his role in the Flint water crisis, an environmental disaster that contaminated the majority Black city’s drinking water with lead nearly seven years ago.

Snyder is facing two counts of willful neglect of duty and if convicted he could face up to a year in prison and as much as a $1,000 fine.

Other former members of his administration are expected to face charges as well, according to the Associated Press.

Earlier this week, as reports began to surface that charges were looming, an attorney for Snyder referred to them as “a politically motivated smear campaign,” according to the Detroit Free Press.

Flint Pediatrician Says Charges Against Ex-Governor Help ‘Wounds Finally Close’

Snyder, a Republican, was Michigan’s top executive when state-appointed officials decided to switch the city’s drinking water source from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River in 2014.

It stems from a decision billed as a way to save money and only supposed to be a temporary fix while officials built a pipeline to nearby Lake Huron. But it turned out to be costly, both in lives lost and in a settlement worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Pending settlement for victims

Last year Nessel announced a $600 million-dollar settlement for Flint families impacted by the water crisis last year.Article continues after sponsor message

The deal “puts the needs of children first,” she said during the August announcement.


Michigan Agrees To Pay $600 Million To Flint Residents Over Water Debacle

Young people were especially vulnerable, at risk of suffering long-term cognitive challenges and other health issues from being exposed to lead contamination in the water.

As NPR’s Bill Chappell reported at the time the settlement indicated that nearly 80% of the funds were earmarked to resolved claims filed on behalf of children and minors.

The remaining portion of the settlement is expected to be divvied up among other Flint residents who fell ill from the contaminated water or suffered property damage, Michigan Public Radio reports.

But a U.S. District Court judge is expected to soon rule on whether to give the settlement preliminary approval, MPR reports.

At least 12 died, more than 80 became sick

The station adds not everyone is happy with the settlement. That includes John McClain, a pastor, who characterized the proposed settlement as “disrespectful,” because he said there are too many roadblocks for residents to access the money and it doesn’t provide enough to cover damages.

“We believe the proposed settlement as currently allocated is just as disrespectful as the injury caused by the water crisis tragedy itself,” McClain told MPR.

At least dozen people died and more than 80 people were sickened with Legionnaires’ disease after water from the Flint River caused lead to leach from old pipes, poisoning the water system city.

Soon after the switch, residents began to complain that the new water in their homes had a foul stench, tasted different and was discolored, according to an MLive report from May 2014, a month after the change in water sources.

Officials with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality told Flint city officials they did not need to use any corrosion control measures to treat the river water, at least not initially, Michigan Public Radio reported in December 2016.

The “wait-and-see approach was a really bad idea,” experts told MPR, because without the necessary treatment “the protective coating on the inside of the pipes that built up over the years from Detroit’s water likely disappeared. And that’s what caused lead levels to spike in many homes in Flint.”

Source: NPR
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Now Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, (R-MI), listens to Congressional members remarks during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, about the Flint, Mich. water crisis in 2016.Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Snyder, who has been out of office for two years, apologized for his role in the environmental debacle during his 2016 State of the State address.

“Your families face a crisis, a crisis which you did not create and could not have prevented,” Snyder said. “I want to speak directly, honestly and sincerely to let you know we are praying for you. We are working hard for you and we are absolutely committed to taking the right steps to effectively solve this crisis. To you, the people of Flint, I say … I’m sorry and I will fix it.”

More than a dozen state and city officials were indicted for their roles in the crisis. Several of them accepted plea deals to avoid prison time.

In June of 2019 Nessel announced that state prosecutors were dropping all criminal charges against a group of eight government officials, and moved to launch a more expansive investigation.

“I want to remind the people of Flint that justice delayed is not always justice denied and a fearless and dedicated team of career prosecutors and investigators are hard at work to ensure those who harmed you are held accountable,” Nessel said in a statement at the time.

NPR’s Dylan Scott contributed to this report.

CorrectionJan. 13, 2021

An earlier version of this story referred to an MLive report as being published in May 2015. In fact it was published in 2014.

How could this have been prevented? Did the sentencing go far enough? Why? Why not?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.