Wa­ter

Element - - Business -

Wa­ter pol­lu­tion in New Zealand made a splash on UK tele­vi­sion in 2011 when Prime Min­is­ter John Key stum­bled over crit­i­cism of the pol­luted state of New Zealand’s fresh­wa­ter, and whether that lined up with the 100% Pure im­age we ped­dle to tourists. This is not an is­sue that is likely to go away while New Zealand con­tin­ues to pur­sue a pol­icy of dairy in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion, along with other in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ments.

So it’s heart­en­ing to see the na­tion’s clean­tech en­trepreneurs ris­ing to this chal­lenge. Hy­drox­sys, started by en­gi­neer Daryl Briggs, is de­vel­op­ing a thin film mem­brane that could save up to 80 per cent of the en­ergy used in wa­ter fil­ter­ing and rad­i­cally im­prove the re­sults.

And Auck­land-based Stormwa­ter 360 has cre­ated an in­no­va­tive range of stormwa­ter man­age­ment sys­tems.

Greg Yeo­man, di­rec­tor at Stormwa­ter 360, reck­oned govern­ment sup­port for com­pa­nies like his had im­proved in the last few years. His firm had ben­e­fit­ted from re­search and de­vel­op­ment fund­ing from the Min­istry of Busi­ness, In­no­va­tion and Em­ploy­ment, and now Cal­laghan In­no­va­tion.

He says: “Wa­ter pol­lu­tion preven­tion and re-use of wa­ter as a re­source is rapidly be­com­ing a ma­jor fo­cus glob­ally with in­creased pop­u­la­tion and in­dus­try, and de­clin­ing wa­ter qual­ity.”

The contents of a Queen Street drain, as res­cued by ocean char­ity Sus­tain­able Coast­lines. Photo: sup­plied.

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Greg Yeo­man of Stormwa­ter 360.

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