Drinking Water to Fuel our Future Economy.
Next week the Stoc Expo Conference and Exhibition will be organised in Rotterdam, Holland. An impressive number of internationally operating companies, organisations and people related to the Bulk Liquid Storage industry will attend this important yearly event. What I wrote two years ago on the future of bulk liquid storage business, I‘d like to share with you today. I developed a method to research future trends, predictions on longevity or continuity of industrial sectors and wrote and presented these trends as I do believe we have arrived at a tipping point. Bulk Liquid Storage is a part of- and dependent on- a hydrocarbon based economy consuming non renewable fossil fuels. When I am asking the question; does this industry harm the environment, social cohesion or human and non human life, I cannot say no. Sure, the products we all use made from these fuels and chemicals improve our luxurious lifestyles, but are they sustainable? You can answer this rhetorical question yourself.
When we cooperate and endeavour to phase out products and industries that are harmful or as we called them ‘negatively interdependent’ (benefiting some at the cost of others) and replace them with non-harmful ones, we can create a sustainable range of products that are so-called ‘positively interdependent’ (they benefit everyone). I can therefore see a future energy storage industry storing harvested solar, wind, water, hydrogen or geothermal energy, but also, perhaps even more importantly, to store, ship and distribute (tank farms and pipeline networks) drinking water. Investment in guaranteed drinking water supply chains will benefit the continuity of daily, global business. Drinking water should not be made into a commodity, because the value of availability of drinking water for every one on this planet would reduce revolts, risks or conflict. Prevention of such costs, would pay amply for needed investments. According the WHO the yield in drinking water supply investments would be between 10 % and 3000%! I foresee a function for existing oil or chemical storage companies to also become drinking water storage and supply terminals with dedicated pipelines, pumps, jetties and storage tanks for water. Such an initiative will not be coming from politics, but can be organised by the industry itself. When one acts as a systems thinker, all you have to do is use ‘ALL’ information to build a resilient storage industry which is able to stand the test of time. Perhaps we should change the current definition of sustainability into ‘standing the test of time’. What we now can observe, not only in the Storage Industry, but in all industries, political and economic linear systems, is that they often overlook the need of future generations. This modus operandi won’t stand the test of time. We would have phase out our harmful business models and adjust them into new, non harmful, sustainable ways. The awareness, knowledge and skills are here. Let’s use them in cooperation and let’s share the profits equally.