Blue is the New Green

Go Lean Commentary

First we said to “Go Green!”

Now we are saying to “Go Blue”, because Blue is the new Green. While ‘Green’ is indicative for all-things-environmental, ‘Blue’ refers specifically to Water.

There is money in Green; there is money in Blue too! The references to Blue waters apply equally to fCU Blog - Blue is the New Green - Photoresh water and seawater. When we consider all the waterscapes in the Caribbean, (1,063,000 square-miles of the Caribbean seas and thousands of islands in the archipelago – The Bahamas has over 700 alone), we realize how much opportunity exists.

This is the time to be proactive; and to facilitate the intersection of preparation and opportunity. (This is one definition of luck. This is how to create one’s own luck).

Considering all the opportunities, how can the Caribbean prepare its economic engines to harvest all the fruitage from these Blue market conditions? This is the theme of the book Go Lean…Caribbean, that the world is struggling to contend with monumental changes related to technology, globalization and most importantly Climate Change.

Early in the book, the pressing need to be aware and to adapt to Climate Change is pronounced in the Declaration of Interdependence (Page 11), with these words:

i. Whereas the earth’s climate has undeniably changed resulting in more severe tropical weather storms, it is necessary to prepare to insure the safety and security of life, property and systems of commerce in our geographical region. As nature recognizes no borders in the target of its destruction, we also must set aside border considerations in the preparation and response to these weather challenges.

The Caribbean needs Blue Technology solutions to sustain our own lives, liberties and systems of commerce. But the Go Lean book posits that we cannot just consume, we must also create, produce, and foster. So we must foster industrial solutions for the rest of the world. This subsequent magazine-article-summary highlights the progression in this new Blue Technology industry-space in these areas:
Keeping it Clean

VIDEO – The Blue Economy –

Published on Jul 3, 2012 – The oceans have long been the centre of economic activity. People have been living near the sea, feeding themselves by fishing and making their livelihoods on the coast for thousands of years. The challenge today is harnessing the potential of this Blue Economy.


Excerpts of Article by: Adam Bluestein

Forget for a moment about carbon emissions. The world is facing a more immediate crisis — it is running out of clean water. The prospect of widespread shortages is creating a new kind of new economy. Featured here are a number of entrepreneurial firms who are ahead of the curve, finding opportunity in the largest emerging market the world has seen in some time.

Analysts estimate that the world will need to invest as much as $1 trillion a year on [water] conservation technologies, infrastructure, and sanitation to meet demand through 2030. As in the past, most of the large capital-intensive projects will be done by the usual multinational corporations and engineering firms. But the extent of the problem and the demand for new technology to address it present — pardon the metaphor — a kind of perfect storm for entrepreneurs. “Small companies with intellectual property, significant know-how, and a product that’s scalable can stake out a niche below the radar of the large companies,” says Laura Shenkar, a water expert and consultant in San Francisco. “This is an opportunity that will generate Googles.”

There are a number of business roles that emerge from seizing the opportunities to develop solutions to water challenges:

Sourcing – Increasing the Supply

The well-documented experience around the world is that poverty comes from inadequate access to fundamental resources, like water. To assuage this threat, there are solutions in place now to deliver added fresh water by many means: irrigation canals, pipelines and tanker trucks/tanker ships (i.e. tanker ships between France and Algeria; Turkey and Israel). An emerging solution operated in the Middle East and India is small-scale barge-based desalination systems. These systems play an important role in increasing the supply of freshwater, especially after a natural disaster (storm or earthquake) when normal infrastructure may be crippled.

In general, desalination is an expensive option. Desalination, of course, is well-and-good for communities close to the ocean/seas and that can afford relatively expensive water. For everyone else, exploring inland pumping solutions is essential. An innovation comes from Deerfield Beach, Florida-based company Moving Water Industries. They produce SolarPedalFlo, a solar and pedal-powered pump that can singly provide filtered and chlorinated water for thousands of people every day.

Treating It

As the gold standard of disinfection for more than 100 years, chlorine kills bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens, and it has played a key role in eliminating diseases such as typhoid and cholera in the U.S. Chlorine’s benefits in water are twofold: it not only disinfects but also remains at a residual level in the water, preventing reinfection by viruses or bacteria during transport, storage, and distribution.

Water treatment is just a basic fact. While moving water is very power intensive, a huge energy user that it doesn’t make sense to continue to treat it one place, pump it, live with “losses and degradation”, and move it someplace else to dispose of it. This is depicted with a swimming pool. One would not fill it up and dump it out every time it is used. This defies logic.

But safety and security issues abound with Chlorine solutions, as it is a hazardous material to transport. An emerging solution is a compact generator, by MIOX, an Albuquerque, New Mexico-based outfit founded in 1994. Their equipment allows water treatment facilities to produce liquid chlorine on site. This solution uses only water, salt, and electricity, thus eliminating the need to store or transport hazardous chemicals.

In a developing country, the ability to treat one’s own water at home can be a matter of life and death. Those with limited means often purify water by boiling it or mixing it with iodine tablets. Those who can afford it use home water-purification systems. One of the companies capitalizing on demand for such systems is Eureka Forbes, India’s largest manufacturer of home water-purification systems. They have profited from their effort to make home water-purification systems much more affordable.

Storing It

It’s nice to imagine that water flows magically from a pristine reservoir or spring to your home faucet, but that’s simply not the case. As we have seen, it is disinfected and pumped along through a sprawling network of water mains and pipes. The U.S. water network (including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands), much of it built in the 1950s and ’60s, will require some $277 billion worth of construction, upgrades, and replacement in the next 20 years, according to EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimates. With scarcity driving water agencies to fix leaks — by some estimates, about six billion gallons per day in the U.S. are lost through literal cracks in the system — companies making high-tech metering and leak-detection technologies are doing well for themselves.

Water Storage Tanks – After being treated, drinking water can spend as long as 100 days in the distribution system before reaching an end user. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when water sits in a tank too long, it begins to stagnate and settle into layers of different temperatures, as in a lake. In warmer layers at the top, the disinfectants used in treatment are burned off, which increases the potential for contamination. Even when the water is being used, poor tank design can create an uneven distribution of disinfectant and encourage uneven aging, allowing water at the bottom of a tank to be replenished more quickly than water at the top.

The traditional solution is to dump more disinfecting chemicals into the holding system, leading to the formation of chemical byproducts. Another solution is to use energy-intensive “operational cycling” – basically pumping moving water around from tank to tank.

An energy-efficient, inexpensive, and elegant solution is called the Lily Impeller (by San Rafael, California-based PAX Water Technologies, founded in 2006). It’s a spiral propeller that’s installed on the bottom of a storage tank; it can mix up to seven million gallons of water while drawing the same amount of energy as three 100-watt light bulbs.

Another solution is a floating solar-powered impeller, which could improve surface water to be treated for drinking or even provide basic wastewater remediation.

Conserving It

A basic example of water conservation is a water recycling system that would take used water from the bathroom sink, disinfect it, and reroute it to the toilet tank for flushing.

One option: The AQUS System uses standard plumbing parts and can be installed by a professional plumber in about two hours. Priced at $395 (before rebates), it can save up to 6,000 gallons of water a year in a two-person household.

Another option: water-free urinals – biodegradable liquid with a specific gravity lighter than water.

Utilities have found that offering customers rebates for things such as low-flow showerheads and toilets and efficient front-loading clothes washers has been a reliable and cost-effective way to curb water use, and the cost of energy to supply and treat water.

A final option: WeatherTRAK irrigation controllers – a (software-based) system that uses live weather data, rather than preset timers, to tell sprinklers when and how much to water crops, lawns, and commercial landscapes.

Keeping It Clean

Though drought is one of the more obvious consequences of Climate Change, water experts are equally worried about the problems caused by extreme storms and flooding that many, if not most, scientists believe are another consequence of global warming. Storm-water runoff has become a concern for its effect on surface and ground water, as well as the additional burden that it puts on already creaky wastewater treatment facilities.

One solution: Scottsdale, Arizona-based AbTech Industries, first used their Smart Sponges — made from a synthetic polymer — in 1997 to clean up oil spills from tankers at sea. In 1999, when they turned their attention to storm water, most regulation was focused on runoff from new construction. But billions of gallons of rain that come down on the roads and go into our flood-control devices could be contaminated on the way through. This company molds their sponge material into different shapes that would fit into street-level storm drains and catch basins, soaking up oil and debris and letting clean water pass through. They also developed a way to coat the sponges with an antimicrobial agent so they would disinfect water as well. Their next iteration, add the ability to capture heavy metals, herbicides, and pesticides.

Another solution for eliminating challenging pollutants from water, compared to the traditional approach using mechanical filters or chemicals, researchers have experimented with using genetically modified organisms to degrade water pollutants. This new technological solution, being commercialized by companies like Overland Park, Kansas-based Microvi Biotech (founded in 2004), is literally eating these pollutants up. Their company verbiage explains: “The idea of using biotechnology — using concepts from nature — to clean up water has proven very appealing”.


Adam Bluestein is a Burlington, Vermont-based freelance writer.
INC Magazine for Entrepreneurs (Article posted November 1 2008; retrieved 07/07/2014) –

The topics in this commentary are relevant and familiar. Prudent water management is vital for Caribbean life, our public safety and commerce systems. Tourism continues to be the primary economic driver in the region. While the motivation behind the Caribbean “Lean” is to diversify the economy, prudence dictates that we do not undermine current successful tourism engines. Since tourists come to the region for sand, surf and sun, there must be a “quality” sentinel for Caribbean water works, waterscapes and water eco-systems.

This point is detailed in the book Go Lean…Caribbean, a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). This roadmap has 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the homeland and related economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.

This Go Lean commentary delved into related subjects in these previous blogs: Floods in Minnesota, Drought in California – Why Not Share? Go ‘Green’… Caribbean

Water is not cheap. It is only free when it rains. The effort to source, treat, store, conserve and keep water clean takes a big investment on the part of community and governmental institutions. While we commend and applaud the regional executions thus far, the Go Lean book recognizing that there is more heavy-lifting to do. Help is on the way! The Go Lean roadmap details a series of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to foster the progress in the wide field of Blue technology. The following list applies:

Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Return on Investments Page 24
Community Ethos – Cooperatives Page 25
Community Ethos – Non-Government Organizations Page 25
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Anecdote – Pipeline Transport – Strategies, Tactics &   Implementations Page 43
Strategy – Build and foster local economic engines Page 45
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 82
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Public Works Page 82
Anecdote – “Lean” Environmental Quality Process Page 93
Implementation – Ways to Develop Pipeline Industry Page 107
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Public Works Page 175
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Cooperatives Page 176
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage Natural Resources – Water   Resources Page 182
Advocacy – Ways to   Foster Technology Page 197
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Monopolies Page 202
Advocacy – Ways to Impact   Rural Living – Minimize Irrigation Downsides Page   235
Appendix – Pipeline   Maintenance Robots Page   283

Water needs are undeniable.

Fulfilling those needs is a great target for lean, agile operations, perfect for the CU technocracy. While its “good to be green”, being “blue” is not an option we can choose to ignore, as the Caribbean is mostly made up of islands – surrounded by water.

Go Blue. Go Green. Go Lean.

Now is the time for all of the Caribbean, the people, entrepreneurs, institutions and governments, to lean-in for the optimizations and opportunities described in the book Go Lean … Caribbean.

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


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