Intel aims to make matches for wastewater heaven

For the past year, Intel has been doing its part to help make the perfect match. That is, in matching wastewater makers with wastewater users for the WaterMatch project.

Intel’s director of global citizenship, Gary Niekerk, describes the project as functioning potentially like an online dating site. But instead of having an interested couple meet up and seeing where things go, wastewater makers like agriculture or power companies could hook up with wastewater users like industrial facilities or treatment plants.

But obviously, making this dream happen is going to be a lot more complicated than getting two budding lovers together for coffee.

And so far, progress has been slow. Although the site has received plenty of hits from all over the world, said Niekerk, there has yet to be any documented successful matches.

The biggest problem is that getting data on wastewater treatment plants is incredibly hard. There is no national database for treatment facilities so gathering this kind of information requires laborious searches and calls to each individual plant.

Nevertheless, the wastewater project has made strides since Intel got involved a year ago. Niekerk said he became interested in the project after meeting with Jan Dell, vice president at consultant and construction firm CH2M Hill, which developed the project. But Niekerk noticed when he entered Temple, Ariz., the location where he lived, nothing came up. The map was practically empty.

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