Trump Tariffs Will Affect the Water & Wastewater Industries

Trump Tariffs are disrupting different industries across the US and might force the economy to recession if the US President continues issuing tariffs threats. The country’s trade partners are forming a retaliation that results to global trade conflict.

Trump argues that the tariffs on items like washing machines, water equipment, solar panels and wastewater equipment are just meant to protect American industries from collapsing and for a long-term benefit. However, business leaders, lawmakers, politicians, and economists say a different story. A good example is the steel and aluminum tariffs.


Steel and Aluminium Tariffs Story

In March 2018, it was proposed a 10% tariff on aluminum and 25% tariff on steel. Later in May 2018, it was announced that there are plans to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on EU, Canada, and Mexico. The tariff came into effect at midnight the same day of the announcement.

The announcement intensified trade war between America and its trading partners. The trade partners quickly reacted to the imposed new regulation especially E.U, Canada, and Mexico.


Steel and Aluminium Tariffs Impact on Trade Partners

The European Commission led by their president Jean-Claude released statements criticizing the new tariffs. The European Commission statement defined the proposal as, “a blatant intervention to protect U.S domestic industry” and announced countermeasures to Trump’s Tariffs.

The E.U responded by saying it would levy import taxes on items like Bourbon from Kentucky- a home state of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnel. Plus, Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Mexico responded by saying it would levy import taxes on various types of steel. Also, American farm products such as grapes, certain cheeses, pork bellies, cranberries, apples were not spared.

While Canada levied taxes on the same metals (steel and aluminum) and other products like candy, coffee, pizza, and quiche. Also, the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he had rejected the ultimatum from Vice President Pence.

The World Trade Organization –WTO was not left behind. The director general of WTO, Robert Azevedo was quick to respond that the unfair regulation and quick trade policy statements by trading partners will result in a global trade war. He termed it as, “real risk of triggering an escalation of trade barriers across the globe.”


Water and Wastewater Industries

The recent move to Trump’s Tariffs on E.U, Mexico, and Canada has made a substantial effect on equipment production for various industries. The steel and aluminum tariff will make them expensive to import, thus making water infrastructure projects cost more. Wastewater equipment and water equipment made from the metal alloy that is imported will drive demand up for locally produced steel.

Water infrastructure projects like repairing water and wastewater plants plus their collection systems will become expensive. Primarily, when water and wastewater utility sector wants to build or repair the plant and their collection systems, they will receive funding from federally subsidized loans as per the Water Infrastructure Finance Innovation Act.

It is foreseen that the tariffs will make the prices of steel and aluminum high thus affecting the water and wastewater utilities just like any other industries. Nevertheless, the director of Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturer’s Assn, Vanessa Leiby argues that the said tariff will affect small-sized to medium-sized manufacturing enterprises. Reason being they have not stocked materials affected by the taxes like large manufacturing enterprises.

Although the regulation was payback for some unfair trade practices, the American Iron and Steel Association were happy and praised the decision made. The Aluminum Association too applauded the decision made. The two groups represented the domestic industry and felt that the policy could be more of directed towards China –the most significant competitor- other than their allies (Canada, Mexico, and E.U).

Trump’s tariffs are slowly losing long-term traditional allies by forgetting the written and unwritten global trading rules written in the past. In the pretense of protecting their industries, forgetting to look at the bigger picture.

Recycled Wastewater Helps Maximize Water Treatment Systems

In Biology 101, we learn that water is the key to survival for all living organisms. Thanks to the natural water cycle of the ecosystem, water has always been a renewable resource. But at the current rate humans are consuming water, combined with factors influenced by climate change, we are drawing from the pool faster than the environment can replenish.

Fortunately, there are some forward-thinking companies and communities that are using modern technology to “reuse” water in healthy, eco-conscious ways – pioneering the field of water conservation in the process.


Recycled Wastewater and Beer

CH2M, an engineering company in Denver, CO, is one of the companies leading the charge in finding ways to repurpose recycled wastewater. They are battling the public stigma against recycled water and driving sustainable water reuse technology. CH2M saw the public’s general distrust of recycled water and derived ways to make it more accepted—by using recycled water in beer.

So far, three breweries in Denver—Lone Tree Brewing Company, Lost Highway Brewing Company, and 105 West Brewing Company—have used the 330 gallons of direct potable reuse water from CH2M to in their beer-making process.


How Does the Water Get Recycled?

According to CH2M, reclaimed water is pumped into a treatment trailer. Once in the trailer, it gets purified using a multi-barrier purification process that includes ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet disinfection with advanced oxidation, activated carbon filtration, and chlorine disinfection to transform recycled community wastewater into pure drinking water.

The idea is catching on.


Increased Usage of Recycled Wastewater

In San Diego, CA, the Stone Brewing Co. has already produced five barrels of a new craft beer that uses recycled water from San Diego’s Pure Water facility. Stone Brewing Co. named the beer Full Circle Pale Ale in an effort to bring awareness to recycled wastewater options and solutions.  

Another usage of recycled wastewater can be found in Big Sky, MT. Following the example set by CH2M and San Diego’s Pure Water Program, the well-known ski resort town is considering a proposal to use recycled wastewater for snowmaking. The town itself has boomed in population in the past two decades, thanks to its proximity to Yellowstone National Park, the unrivaled vistas, and its exclusive ski resort. But so much growth means a strain on existing infrastructure and resources—namely, water.

For all the open air and mountains, town authorities realized that Big Sky doesn’t have enough water to meet current demands. Groundwater, the only source of drinking water for the community, is rapidly depleting thanks to the population growth.

Another issue is the current treatment of wastewater. According to reports, “the sewage system was expanded 15 years ago at a cost of $15 million, but it’s already nearly at capacity and another expansion will be needed soon.”

Community members were adamant that the pristine nature of Big Sky, including the beloved Gallatin River, were protected and preserved before any development plans could move forward. To that end, three dozen community leaders formed the Big Sky Sustainable Water Solutions Forum that “strives to be a model mountain community by protecting and improving water resources, sustaining ecological health of the watersheds, and supporting a vibrant local economy.”

The Forum is open to all means of conservation and creative repurposing, including using recycled wastewater to help create the integral powder that keeps the snow-dependent tourism economy working, provides the water necessary for resident’s health and lives and doesn’t impede on the natural environment.

From suds to slopes, recycled wastewater is finding creative solutions to care for our future while preserving the present.


High Tide Technologies

High Tide Technologies is an end-to-end cloud-based SCADA company that enables our users to create a complete SCADA solution that utilizes field units, satellite, cellular or Ethernet communications as well as the Internet to monitor and provides automatic control of your systems. Many of our clients are water treatment plants that deal in municipal water distributionwastewater, and more. 

The responsible distribution of water and wastewater requires meticulous monitoring. We are committed to providing the highest quality monitoring products that give engineers, operators, and decision makers the required tools to make immediate, data-driven decisions.