A few months ago, long time CESER collaborators, Bruce Beck and Rodrigo Villarroel Walker wrote a piece on Growing Blue to Grow Rainbow and posted it at www.growingblue.com (November, 2012). It was prompted by Laurent Auguste’s blog of 5 July, 2012, “Blue Is The
New Green”, in which he argued that green economic growth might now be seen instead as water-sensitive, or blue growth.
Auguste is President and CEO of Veolia Water Americas. Growing Blue to Grow Rainbow asserted that Growing Rainbow — water-nutrient-energy-sensitive growth — might be more appropriate, although indeed Growing Blue might well be the fastest and most effective path toward realizing it.
In their latest post “Growing Profits from Growing Rainbow”, Bruce and Rodrigo attach some hard, monetary estimates to our earlier argument, to convey a rough sense of the cross-sectoral profit-benefit streams to flow from technological innovations in the water sector — Growing Blue, to Grow Rainbow, to Grow Profits, in other words. Their results are based on an analysis for London, UK.
This work forms part of CFGnet’s strategic analyses of innovations for transforming the metabolism of London which are being conducted jointly by Bruce Beck and Rodrigo Villarroel Walker at the University of Georgia, Jim Hall, Director of the Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University, UK, and CESER researchers Richard Dawson and Oliver Heidrich.
Were all four water-sector technologies to be implemented — urine separating toilets; combined treatment of kitchen waste and sewage; pyrolysis of sewage sludge; and producing algae-based biofuels from sewage — in excess of $125M in potential additional annual revenue would accrue, along with nearly $250M in expenditure reductions. This all adds up to a total value of resources recovered or saved each year of roughly $375M.