Archive for December, 2013

Holiday Wishes from Water Innovations Alliance Foundation!

Posted on December 17th, 2013 in Uncategorized | No Comments »











Happy Holidays from NanoBCA!

Posted on December 17th, 2013 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

2013 Nano Christmas Card border










Holding Agriculture Accountable for Groundwater Use

Posted on December 17th, 2013 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

By Jordan Lane Gilmore, Advisory Board Member, Water Innovations Alliance Foundation
and Vincent Caprio, Executive Director, Water Innovations Alliance Foundation for GE’s Our Water Counts blog, Water Wise

My experience in water well projects and research in SE Asia over the last few years have lead me to conclude that there is a major lack of information around water withdrawals in India and a need for openness in regard to alternative models for water infrastructure development, particularly in rural India. As water access is a fundamental building block for all development, especially in agrarian societies, it is in the interest of stakeholders to think specifically and critically about planning strategies that are suited for projected growth.  If limited water resources and the underlying ecological systems are not safeguarded, current agricultural practices will undermine food security.[1]  In India, groundwater (the overwhelmingly primary source of water for agriculture) depletion rates are estimated to be dangerously high and the quality of surface water is very poor.

groundwater withdrawl chart








Right now, there is no real indication of industry being united on a long term approach to alleviate the tremendous pressure put on water resources. This is not to say many companies do not recognize the problem and/or are doing little about it. They do quite a lot. But they could do much more and could target their efforts more directly at the strategic planning of infrastructure. Many of the majors have environmentally conscious practices in place and CSR programs, which are growing. They include programs like rainwater harvesting, advanced land cultivation, fodder preservation schemes, sericulture and water recycling programs, education centers, adult literacy programs and credit schemes.[2] Unilever farmers, for example, are required to apply techniques that are “appropriate to the amount of water available and according to local conditions so that capacity is not exceeded”.[3]

But what are these companies doing to contribute to the knowledge of that capacity (water availability) and local conditions?  Since they operate across many watershed areas and draw from the resource spanning across many state and other institutionalized boundaries, what are they doing to improve our understanding of watershed and larger system wide dynamics? Many states have identified a lack of adequate monitoring as a significant problem that prevents proper management. FSG reports on a broad lack of impact assessment in this area.[4]

So, how is industry leveraging the robust information technology infrastructure already in India to modernize assessment and management? In Brazil, Unilever farmers use high tech monitoring devices to make irrigation and fertilizing processes more efficient, so much that they have cut their use in half for tomato crops.  This says little, however, about the tech deployment in India, and even less about the upstream processes, i.e. the initial withdrawals from groundwater. Dupont has made use of GPS technology to increase yields with fewer inputs, but we can only infer so much toward the assessment of ecosystem wide impacts, which is very much in the company’s self-interest. Dupont confirms the need of its farmers for access tools enabled by the integration of mobile and information technology resources.[5]

groundwater irrigating chart








There is a very real opportunity to improve the understanding of the rate of withdrawals and the status and of water resources by leveraging mobile technology and information services. Companies like WellDone are showing us how a device simpler than the technology of a flip-phone can be adapted to sensors and attached to a wellhead to measure the flow of water being withdrawn from aquifers (and ideally, down the road, test the quality).

So, the question is – would Ag companies not benefit from better quality data and real time information around the withdrawal of water from the source? A technology that measures extraction and can be implemented widely is available and fairly inexpensive.  If these companies want to enable better management while increasing information flow to their stakeholders, it might behoove them to consider taking advantage of the mobile infrastructure largely in place.

This would represent a step toward much needed monitoring and the benefits to management have tremendous potential.  Consider for a moment the alleviation of health problems related to water resource exhaustion. Diarrheal disease, relating to poor water access and quality, kills more children under-5 years of age than AIDS, malaria & measles combined.

Million death chart








Improved management based on strong assessment of groundwater resource capacity translates into improved (more efficient) distribution of water and will likely present smarter models for water infrastructure development (that go against antiquated models that entrench industry into larger and more costly infrastructure projects).  From a PR and CSR perspective alone, this translates into smart planning that engages and empowers stakeholders on a modern approach to infrastructure development.

[1] UNEP 2012
[2] School of Doctoral Studies (European Union) Journal 2010
[3] Unilever 2009
[4] Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research 2012
[5] Dupont Agriculture 2012


WIAF Recommends 2014 JSC Connect Water Quality & Purification Event – Jan. 9th

Posted on December 16th, 2013 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

The Houston Technology Center and the Gulf Coast Regional Center of Innovation and Commercialization, in partnership with the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), will be hosting a series of JSC Connect events in 2014.  Each event will focus on a technology area of strategic interest to NASA’s human spaceflight program, which may also have considerable potential for non-aerospace applications.

The purpose of the JSC Connect events is to identify potential partnerships for joint development collaborations or potential commercialization of JSC’s technologies.  Attendees should be representatives of those organizations with an active interest in the technology area and in potentially partnering with the JSC or other industry or research institution organizations.  In addition to presentations by JSC project teams, attendees will also have an opportunity to give a brief presentation on their activities and/or interests in the technology.

Because of the nature of these events, attendance will be limited and invitations will be extended only to organizations with an interest in the technology area and potentially having a partnership with the JSC or other attendees.

If interested in any of the event technology areas, please complete the online registration form so we can include you in the events for those technology areas which may have the biggest impact for you or your organization

Please forward this message to the appropriate individuals in your organization, or with any organizations you are aware of, who have an active interest in technologies in any of the following areas:

Water Quality & Purification – Thursday, January 9
JSC’s interests include inorganic contaminant removal including silver (used as a biocide) and Ca (which accumulates from human waste); elimination of biofouling; debrining and heavy metals removal; detection and identification of salts, bacteria, and fungi; detection and removal of pharmaceutical byproducts; residual solid waste packaging; closed loop water recovery; and zero discharge systems.  Specific technologies being investigated include optical detection and salinity monitoring; forward and reverse osmosis; nanotube membrane filtration; low level bacterial/fungi detection and characterization; photo and electrochemical techniques to replace HT catalytic oxidation in final polishing; novel techniques for final debrining and solids waste packaging; and overall water management in complex systems.  JSC is interested in partnering on further development of these technologies, including the scale up of recovery for both potable and re-use applications.

Robotics – Thursday, February 27
Telemedicine – Thursday, April 24
RFID – Thursday, June 26
Energy Storage & Management – Thursday, August 21

The NASA Johnson Space Center is actively developing a broad range of new technologies to support the human spaceflight program, and many of these technologies have significant potential for non-aerospace applications, that may provide significant benefits for partners by working together with JSC’s technology development teams.

For more information, please contact:

Bob Prochnow, Director of the Gulf Coast RCIC ( or
Evelyn Boatman at the HTC-JSC Campus (
Review of our Water 2.0-Water Management Summit
November 13-14, 2013
Rice University, Houston, TX
Here are a few recent articles from GE’s Our Water Counts

Holding Agriculture Accountable for Groundwater Use
Written by Vincent Caprio & Jordan Gilmore

How Much Water Is Left on Your Table this Thanksgiving?
Written by Jill Burdette

The Value of Interdependence on Water Management
Written by Doug McNair

Water Citizen Launches Keys to Water in Congress Program
Written by Cat Shrier
We encourage individuals interested in continuing our efforts to provide information in regard to emerging water technologies to become individual members of the WIAF.  Click here to become a WIAF Individual Member.  The annual Individual Membership fee is $100.

Wishing you and your family a happy holiday season.


Vincent Caprio
Executive Director
Water Innovations Alliance Foundation

Nanotechnology Community Opportunity – IEC TC 113 Chairmanship Opening

Posted on December 16th, 2013 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Nanotechnology Community Opportunity
Candidates for Chairman of IEC TC 113


Mike Leibowitz is the Secretary for the US National Committee Technical Advisory Group to IEC Technical Committee 113Nanotechnology standardization for electrical and electronic products and systems (TC 113 US TAG). The TAG Chairman is Dr. Brent Segal, Chief Scientist, Nanotechnology at Lockheed Martin Corporation and Chairman of the IEEE Nanotechnology Standards Committee.

Reason for Chairmanship Opening

The US National Committee to the IEC holds the TC 113 Chairmanship, however just prior to the IEC TC 113 meetings held October 16-20, 2013 in New Delhi, Dr. Greg Monty of Underwriters Laboratories LLC had resigned as TC 113 Chairman effective immediately due to his departure from UL. The German National Committee holds the TC 113 Secretariat and would like very much that the USNC to retain the chairmanship.

The following are important points for candidates to consider:

– Candidates should familiarize themselves with the roles and responsibilities of the Chairman as outlined on the IEC website.

– IEC Technical Committee Chairs serve a 6-year term, with the opportunity for a single 3-year extension if desired (This supersedes any information regarding terms of office from the IEC Chairman page, under the “Appointment” tab).

– The TC Chairmanship is an un-paid, voluntary position. Therefore, the candidate must have funding secured for international travel and associated expenses.

– TC 113 meets face-to-face twice each year while work sessions of individual project teams are conducted by web conference. Historically, the TC 113 Chairman has also attended meetings of IEC TC 119Printed electronicsISO/TC 229Nanotechnologies, and the ISO/TC 229 US TAG if time and travel budgets permitted. In 2014, the TC 113 project teams will meet June 3-6 in Mississauga, Ontario (near Toronto airport) and both the Plenary and project teams will meet in mid-November in Tokyo. The Tokyo sessions are in conjunction with the IEC General Meeting.

– Each candidate should provide their resume/bio, or a link to one online (if current) and an organizational letter of support that includes that organization’s willingness to fund the Chairman’s duties.

– As the Chairman is US-based, he/she is strongly encouraged to join the TC 113 US TAG and participate as a US Expert on TC 113 projects relevant to their expertise as workload allows.

– Each Monday, a TAG steering committee of the TC 113 Chair, TC 113 TAG Chair, immediate past TAG Chair, and TAG Secretary holds 30-minute teleconferences at 9:30 a.m. Eastern to discuss TC 113 activity and any TAG actions required.

They are aiming to have a slate of candidates ready for TC 113 TAG consideration and vote by December 15, 2013.   If you are interested in applying for this position please contact:

Mike Leibowitz
TC 113 US TAG Secretary
Secretary for the US National Committee Technical Advisory Group to IEC Technical Committee 113Nanotechnology standardization for electrical and electronic products and systems (TC 113 US TAG)
National Electrical Manufacturers Association
1300 N. 17th Street, Suite 900 | Rosslyn, VA 22209 USA
Tel:  +1 703.841.3264 | Cell: +1 443.812.6051
We encourage individuals interested in continuing our efforts to provide information in regard to emerging technologies to become individual members of the NanoBCA.  Click here to become a NanoBCA Individual Member.  The annual Individual Membership fee is $100.
Wishing you happy holidays!


Vincent Caprio “Serving the Nanotechnology Community for Over a Decade”
Executive Director
NanoBusiness Commercialization Association

Review of Water 2.0 & Nano Energy Summit, Nov 13-14, Rice University, Houston

Posted on December 16th, 2013 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

We would like to thank all the speakers and attendees who participated in our Water 2.0-Water Management & Nano Energy Summit on November 13-14th at Rice University’s Shell Auditorium in Houston, TX.  Over 150 participants enjoyed our fabulous Agenda.

The following speakers have shared their presentations with the community:


Alan Hinchman, Global Marketing Director-Infrastructure, GE Intelligent Platforms

Amanda Brock, CEO, Water Standard

Carlos Rojas, Director & Practice Lead for GE Joint GTM Solution Sales, Cisco

Dan Bassett, President, Nano-PM

Don Ewert, IH, VP-Field Services; nanoTox, Inc.Past-Chair; AIHA Nanotechnology Working Group

Dr. David Sarphie, CEO, Geo Nano Consulting

Erik Hromadka, CEO, Global Water Technologies

Dr. James M. Tour, TT & WF Chao Prof of Chemistry; Prof of Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, Rice University; Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science & Technology

Jud Hill, Managing Director, NGP Global Adaptation Partners

Kevin McGovern, Chairman & CEO, The Water Initiative

Kyle Reissner, Senior Marketing Manager Automation Software, GE Intelligent Platforms

Laura Capper, Founder & President, CAP Resources

Clifton McCann, Partner, Thompson Hine

Michael Zimmer, Partner, Thompson Hine

Gregory Chafee, Partner, Thompson Hine

Paul J. Galeski, CEO & Founder, MAVERICK Technologies

Paul Sarahan, Counsel, Norton Rose Fulbright

Ralph Exton, Chief Marketing Officer, Water & Process Technologies, GE Power & Water


A reception was held at GE’s Oil & Gas Center in Houston, TX on Wednesday evening.  Over 60 members of the water and nanotechnology community enjoyed the event.






We encourage individuals interested in continuing our efforts to provide information in regard to emerging water technologies to become individual members of the WIAF.  Click here to become a WIAF Individual Member.  The annual Individual Membership fee is $100.

We would like to thank Rice University and the Smalley Institute for their hospitality.  We look forward to returning in 2014.


Vincent Caprio
Executive Director
Water Innovations Alliance Foundation