Tag Archives: Desert Research Institute

Company’s goal is to become Silicon Valley of water technology

 

WaterStart, a Las Vegas-based nonprofit partnership of public- and private-sector organizations, is working to diversify the Las Vegas economy, create job growth and provide answers to drought and water quality issues in Nevada. Its goal is for Las Vegas to become the Silicon Valley of water technology.

A spinoff from the Desert Research Institute, WaterStart is a 501(C)6 organization that gets its funding from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. It also receives matching funds for specific projects from its public and private partners, Southern Nevada and Truckee Meadows water authorities, MGM Resorts, Winnemucca Farms, LVGEA, Reno Sparks Tahoe Economic Development Authority, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and University of Nevada, Reno.

Entering its second year of funding, WaterStart was networking with more than 1,500 water conservation professionals from the U.S., Canada and Mexico during the ninth annual Water Smart Innovations Conference and Exposition at the South Point in October.

Nathan Allen, executive director of the WaterStart initiative, explained that there are three basic drivers to the organization: to solve water challenges in Nevada through the use of new and innovative technology, build partnerships between private industry and the academic community and diversify the economy by attracting new businesses that create jobs.

To find these innovative technologies, Allen, with a Bachelor of Arts in environmental science and geology and a master’s degree in environmental education, has participated in the Governor’s Trade Mission, most recently to Australia, in an effort to facilitate an exchange of ideas.

The WaterStart team is not looking at conceptual ideas; it is only interested in prototypes that have been proven in the laboratory but have not had the opportunity to bring the product to market.

In the past 23 months, the four-member WaterStart team has vetted more than 150 technologies, received proposals from more than 60 companies that want to work with them and funded eight projects.

One of the projects is the installation of more than 3 miles of leak detection equipment on the water line that runs below the Las Vegas Strip. Edchologics, a Canadian company, is the first to develop this technology using a special microphone called a hydrophone that can hear water escaping. Another company, Syrinix, headquartered in the U.K., also is testing their TrunkMinder and PipeMinder on water lines in the valley to monitor pressure and flow data.

WaterStart is also responsible for bringing IONEX, a California company that builds customized, small-scale water treatment plants to Nevada. IONEX plans to build an assembly and research and development facility in North Las Vegas, and estimates are this company will bring $2.5 million in tax revenue to the state.

IMGeospatial, a British company, has worked with utility companies throughout Europe to supply water managers with automatic cloud-based analytics for their internal geospatial platforms. WaterStart paired the company with the Desert Research Institute to utilize its automated, patent-pending flood-modeling solutions. WaterStart is also close to completing a deal with IMGeospatial that will establish a Las Vegas branch office to house a software development team.

Winnemucca Farms, the largest agricultural producer in the state with 35,000 acres of irrigated land, has adopted water-saving irrigation technologies from around the world. Working with WaterStart, it is experimenting with a company that uses drone technology to measure plant stress from the air and improve irrigation precision while saving even more water.

All 17 counties in Nevada have been under a Drought Emergency Declaration since 2012. Besides having a lack of water for drinking, the drought has caused major problems with the buildup of nitrates in the groundwater.

Its goal is for Las Vegas to become the Silicon Valley of water technology.

A spinoff from the Desert Research Institute, WaterStart is a 501(C)6 organization that gets its funding from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. It also receives matching funds for specific projects from its public and private partners, Southern Nevada and Truckee Meadows water authorities, MGM Resorts, Winnemucca Farms, LVGEA, Reno Sparks Tahoe Economic Development Authority, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and University of Nevada, Reno.

Entering its second year of funding, WaterStart was networking with more than 1,500 water conservation professionals from the U.S., Canada and Mexico during the ninth annual Water Smart Innovations Conference and Exposition at the South Point in October.

Nathan Allen, executive director of the WaterStart initiative, explained that there are three basic drivers to the organization: to solve water challenges in Nevada through the use of new and innovative technology, build partnerships between private industry and the academic community and diversify the economy by attracting new businesses that create jobs.

To find these innovative technologies, Allen, with a Bachelor of Arts in environmental science and geology and a master’s degree in environmental education, has participated in the Governor’s Trade Mission, most recently to Australia, in an effort to facilitate an exchange of ideas.

The WaterStart team is not looking at conceptual ideas; it is only interested in prototypes that have been proven in the laboratory but have not had the opportunity to bring the product to market.

In the past 23 months, the four-member WaterStart team has vetted more than 150 technologies, received proposals from more than 60 companies that want to work with them and funded eight projects.

One of the projects is the installation of more than 3 miles of leak detection equipment on the water line that runs below the Las Vegas Strip. Edchologics, a Canadian company, is the first to develop this technology using a special microphone called a hydrophone that can hear water escaping. Another company, Syrinix, headquartered in the U.K., also is testing their TrunkMinder and PipeMinder on water lines in the valley to monitor pressure and flow data.

WaterStart is also responsible for bringing IONEX, a California company that builds customized, small-scale water treatment plants to Nevada. IONEX plans to build an assembly and research and development facility in North Las Vegas, and estimates are this company will bring $2.5 million in tax revenue to the state.

IMGeospatial, a British company, has worked with utility companies throughout Europe to supply water managers with automatic cloud-based analytics for their internal geospatial platforms. WaterStart paired the company with the Desert Research Institute to utilize its automated, patent-pending flood-modeling solutions. WaterStart is also close to completing a deal with IMGeospatial that will establish a Las Vegas branch office to house a software development team.

Winnemucca Farms, the largest agricultural producer in the state with 35,000 acres of irrigated land, has adopted water-saving irrigation technologies from around the world. Working with WaterStart, it is experimenting with a company that uses drone technology to measure plant stress from the air and improve irrigation precision while saving even more water.

All 17 counties in Nevada have been under a Drought Emergency Declaration since 2012. Besides having a lack of water for drinking, the drought has caused major problems with the buildup of nitrates in the groundwater.

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Bid to solve world hunger could mean jobs for Las Vegas

Alfred D. Hollingsworth — or “Coach” as he is referred to by most — is a successful entrepreneur and man of vision.

Soon, his company could be the latest catch of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development which is trying to convince Hollingsworth to locate a plant – and up to 500 jobs – in Las Vegas.

Hollingsworth’s latest vision involves working toward ending world hunger by deploying the Aldelano Solar ColdBox, a solar-powered refrigerated shipping container.

During a presentation at the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas, Hollingsworth spoke about his belief that there is a misleading assumption of a food shortage. Quoting experts who estimate that a third of the world’s food supply actually goes to waste and that 40 percent of that food loss occurs post-harvest, Hollingsworth believes the actual problem to be the limited access to storage and cooling facilities.

With a full-size working prototype sitting in the parking lot, Hollingsworth and his team are on a worldwide tour to demonstrate how his product, which relies solely on the sun and a series of batteries to store the energy, can change the way small, underdeveloped communities can preserve their food from harvest to market.

In addition, the excess energy generated by the solar panels can also be used as a power source for his portable modules that condense water molecules in the air to produce up to 50 gallons of water and 120 pounds of ice per day. During the presentation sponsored by the Urban Chamber of Commerce, Hollingsworth acknowledged competitors have units that can produce as much as 1,200 gallons per day, but they require a diesel generator that uses about three gallons of fuel per hour.

According to Nicole Smith, chief operations officer of Aldelano, the company is working on modifications to its product that will significantly increase the water production capacity while continuing to rely on solar and battery power. Smith referred to this advancement as “breaking physics.”

Aldelano Corp. has its headquarters in a 100,000-square-foot office, warehouse, and manufacturing plant in Ontario, Calif. The company’s main business, which began in 1968, is product packaging and its clients include a number of Fortune 500 companies.

The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, along with the Urban Chamber of Commerce and the Cities of Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas, have been courting Hollingsworth to build his new ColdBox manufacturing facility here in Southern Nevada. If successful, it could mean a minimum of 500 full-time jobs for Nevadans.

The actual unit is 40 feet long, transports as a standard shipping container, and is ready to set up with easy assembled solar panels. Current production is one unit per week with 40 employees. Once a new manufacturing facility is established, production will increase to meet the expected demand.

One advantage that puts Southern Nevada in the running is the knowledge base present at the Desert Research Institute (DRI). DRI, a part of the Nevada University System, has a staff of more than 500 scientists and engineers working on projects that involve water and air quality, crop technology, and a host of environmental issues in more than 300 locations around the world. A meeting has been set for the Hollingsworth and his Aldelano team to discuss cooperative opportunities with DRI executives.

– See more at: http://businesspress.vegas/small-business/bid-solve-world-hunger-could-mean-jobs-las-vegas#sthash.RyrCANzB.dpuf