Many environmental business leaders involved in water restoration, waste management, and recycling now envision the 21st century as one that will be full of opportunity to turn waste into highly sought after resources. For example, phosphorus recycling is one consideration already at the forefront, given the important role it plays in agriculture.
Approximately 1.1 billion people do not have access to improved sources of drinking water (WHO, Water Sanitation Health, 2013). Even so, these current estimates are probably not as high as they should be. This is because the assumptions about the safety or quality of water is based on its source (lakes, rivers, ground), and does not take into account recontamination during its distribution for use (Sobsey, 2002).
Haiti has severe market constraints in its water sector, and clean water distribution is often poor due to the nature of it being traveled far distances by truck. For this reason, only about one third of Haiti’s urban poor and rural poor have access to clean water (Access to Water in Haiti, 2010).
The Pearl District in downtown Portland, Oregon is an interesting place of old and new. It was once only a creek and lake, fed by small streams from the nearby hills in southwest Portland. In these old times, the forested hillsides provided natural filtration for this water before it reached the downtown Willamette River (Health Parks, Healthy Portland, 2013).
The Cheonggyecheon (CH) was once a naturally formed stream, long before the Joseon Dynasty designated South Korea’s Capital, Seoul, along its banks in 1394 (Cheong Gye Cheon Tour, 2013). Throughout the City’s long history there has always been a connection to water, most likely because of its proximity to the mountains and several tributaries.