New GE White Paper Offers Water Reuse and Recycling Policy Options for Water Scarce Regions

Jun 02, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO-June 2, 2015-As a growing number of communities around the world are encountering acute water scarcity issues, many are turning to water recycling and reuse as solutions. To help governments find readily accessible information on policy options, GE (NYSE: GE) today released a new white paper, “Addressing Water Scarcity through Recycling and Reuse.”

The white paper highlights four major water reuse policy options for governments to consider as they look for ways to expand water recycling and reuse: education and outreach, removing barriers, incentives, and mandates and regulations.

“Today's growing populations and economies are creating an unsustainable demand for water. By 2050, the world will demand 55 percent more water and 70 percent more energy. Municipalities and governments need to reuse more water to ensure demand equals supply. The goal of our new white paper is to help them think through their options for water recycling and reuse while providing a menu of policy options and concrete examples of how these policies are being applied around the world,” said Heiner Markhoff, president and CEO-water and process technologies for GE Power & Water.

GE’s white paper will be showcased on June 3 in San Francisco at "The Economic Power of Water" event hosted by GE and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The event is bringing together both public and private organizations, as well as thought leaders in water policy and research, to explore the current challenges to unlocking the economic potential of water and to provide actionable next steps to create a more water- and energy-secure world.

The four major water reuse policy options addressed in the white paper are:

  • Education and outreach: Education and outreach are critical to advancing water recycling. Most communities with a water-recycling program have active public education programs to raise awareness and to help overcome any public concerns about the safety and quality of recycled water.
  • Removing barriers: Barriers to water recycling are technological, financial and regulatory, and one of the biggest barriers is a water code that does not recognize the use of recycled water. The first steps toward breaking down barriers are to set specific quality standards for recycled water and to provide guidance on the use of the reclaimed water.
  • Incentives: The most common incentive is economic, making recycled water cheaper than potable water. Other approaches are to tie water usage to conservation programs and to exempt recycled water users from many of the community’s conservation requirements.
  • Mandates and regulations: Some communities facing severe water restrictions adopt laws requiring the use of recycled water. The two most common methods to mandating the use of recycled water are requirements targeting the supply of recycled water by regional or local wastewater treatment districts and requirements affecting the use of recycled water by residents or businesses.

To download a copy of GE’s “Addressing Water Scarcity through Recycling and Reuse” white paper, please click here.

GE will be live streaming from "The Economic Power of Water" event on June 3. Be sure to go to @ecomagination or follow @GE_Water. The parts of the day's event that will be live streamed include the 8:40 a.m. PDT opening keynote by Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior Michael L. Connor, GE's Deb Frodl’s ecomagination presentation at 1 p.m. PDT and the closing keynote at 1:40 p.m. PDT by the U.S. Agency for International Development's Christian R. Holmes. Additionally, GE will be using the #GEPowerofWater throughout the event, so follow along for live thoughts and comments.

GE Ecomagination also will be launching a global open innovation challenge to optimize treated wastewater reuse in industrial settings. Treated wastewater can be used in a number of areas where freshwater is used today-such as agriculture, power generation cooling and industrial manufacturing. This GE Ecomagination challenge aims to improve the matchmaking between treated wastewater sources and industrial applications. To learn more about Ecomagination, please visit

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) imagines things others don’t, builds things others can’t and delivers outcomes that make the world work better. GE brings together the physical and digital worlds in ways no other company can. In its labs and factories and on the ground with customers, GE is inventing the next industrial era to move, power, build and cure the world.

About GE Power & Water

GE Power & Water provides customers with a broad array of power generation, energy delivery and water process technologies to solve their challenges locally. Power & Water works in all areas of the energy industry including renewable resources such as wind and solar; biogas and alternative fuels; and coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy. The business also develops advanced technologies to help solve the world’s most complex challenges related to water availability and quality. Power & Water’s six business units include Distributed Power, Nuclear Energy, Power Generation Products, Power Generation Services, Renewable Energy and Water & Process Technologies. Headquartered in Schenectady, N.Y., Power & Water is GE’s largest industrial business.

Follow GE Power & Water and GE’s water business on Twitter @GE_PowerWater and @GE_Water.

Beth Coffman
Soteryx Corporation
+1 518 886 1076

Howard Masto
Masto Public Relations