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Water - The Winning Ingredient

What’s the secret to winning a Super Bowl?

According to Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots, it starts with upping your water intake. 

The five-time Super Bowl Champion, who’s headed back for his eighth appearance this weekend, says he drinks more than 37 glasses of water daily when he’s at his most active. While drinking plenty of water is a good suggestion, population growth and depleting resources are making it more challenging for communities to ensure abundant supplies of fresh water to drink.

In the U.S. alone, total population increased by more than 41 percent during the last 50 years, putting even greater demand on already depleted resources, especially water. 

There is no new water on Earth – we’re actually drinking the same water that dinosaurs did. Our global community cannot afford to use water once and dispose of it. Just look at the major drinking water crisis facing South Africa’s second largest city, Cape Town. 

That’s where the idea of water reuse – or purifying wastewater effluent to create drinking water – comes in. 

With CH2M officially becoming Jacobs in December, we’re more capable than ever to work with clients to address the full spectrum of water challenges, and drive sustainable water reuse technologies to lessen the burden on stressed water supplies. 

For the last half-century, the company led the industry in potable water reuse, even taking home the Stockholm Industry Water Award in 2015 for pioneering potable reuse and public acceptance. The landmark works they led with Denver Water and Singapore's Public Utilities Board in the 1980s and 1990s paved the way for some of the current potable reuse operations being planned, executed and supported by our team today – including a partnership with three Metro-Denver brewing companies: Lone Tree Brewing Company, Lost Highway Brewing Company and 105 West Brewing Company.

In October these breweries became Colorado’s first to produce craft beer from purified reuse water. We supplied the breweries with 330-gallons of potable reuse water produced by a mobile advanced water treatment facility. This mobile facility, in part designed by CH2M in conjunction with Pima County, Arizona, and other participating entities, is one of just a few U.S. potable reuse pilots.

This partnership demonstrated the applicability of potable reuse in Colorado, helping build public support and eliminating negative stigmas by creating something from the water that the state, which is home to the second most craft breweries in the country, already loves – craft beer.

Closer to Brady’s neck of the woods, we’re working with the HRSD (Hampton Roads Sanitation District) in Virginia on their Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow (SWIFT), an innovative water purification program designed to ensure a sustainable source of groundwater while addressing environmental challenges. 

The multi-year SWIFT initiative will take highly treated wastewater that would otherwise be discharged into area waterways and purify it through additional rounds of advanced water treatment to meet drinking water quality standards. The SWIFT water would then be treated to match the existing groundwater chemistry and added to the Potomac Aquifer, the primary source of groundwater throughout eastern Virginia. This forward-thinking solution is proactively addressing water, environmental and economic needs not only for today, but for generations to come.

In southern California, we’re collaborating with the City of San Diego on its phased, multi-year Pure Water San Diego program. This program is using proven water purification technology to clean recycled water to produce safe, high-quality drinking water.

Pure Water San Diego is also lessening the region’s reliance on imported water, which currently accounts for 85 percent of the area’s supply. By 2035, Pure Water San Diego will provide one-third of the region’s water supply locally. This cost-effective investment for San Diego's water needs is ensuring a reliable, local and sustainable water supply for one of the country’s most drought vulnerable states.

Through these initiatives and others, we’re helping clients meet the current and future needs of the communities they serve. We’re committed to a future where everyone can count on a reliable and safe water service—now and for future generations – and future Super Bowl champions.

Peter Nicol currently serves as Global Director of Water and was formerly CH2M’s Global Water Business Group President where he had full profit and loss responsibility for this $1.4 billion global water business, including leading more than 5,000 water professionals, in 175 offices, in more than 50 countries worldwide. Under Peter’s leadership, CH2M solidified its brand as the global market leader in water and wastewater design work. Peter joined CH2M in 1980 after receiving his bachelor of applied science degree in Geological Engineering and Applied Earth Sciences from the University of Toronto.

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