South Bay Water Recycling (SBWR) is a regional recycled water distribution system serving industrial and commercial customers in the area of northern California (USA) known as "Silicon Valley." In early 2008 the City of San José, as administering agency of the San José/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant, implemented a Cooling Tower Initiative to encourage recycled water use by commercial and industrial facilities. In 2009, Sustainable Silicon Valley, a non-profit organization dedicated to a sustainable future, convened a meeting of utilities, high-tech and academics to discuss how local stakeholders might collaborate to improve the sustainable use of water in Silicon Valley. Out of these discussions emerged the concept of the EcoCloud™, a coalition of private companies, public utilities, environmental organizations and academic researchers who encourage each other to adopt sustainable practices, supported by the latest social networking and data analysis tools. While the initial focus of the EcoCloud™ is to help industrial facilities use water sustainably—especially by using recycled water for cooling—its long-term goal is to support all aspects of sustainability, including energy reduction, materials management and land use. The EcoCloud™ allowed the City of San José to move from a serial marketing to a group marketing model, reaching more potential customers and connecting more facilities to the recycled water system.
Inspired by the concept of industrial ecology, the EcoCloud™ is designed to be a "virtual" industrial ecosystem where industry, government and educational institutions can work together to share information about all aspects of sustainability. Although industries in the EcoCloud™ are not located next to each other, they share a common interest in reducing energy usage, conserving resources, eliminating waste, and cutting costs to improve their bottom line. Just as "cloud computing" uses the distributed power of the internet for more efficient data processing, the EcoCloud™ harnesses the power of web-based social networking tools so local business leaders and facility managers can work with industry experts, technology innovators, university researchers and government agencies to make their enterprises more sustainable and more profitable.
Rosenblum, E., Davis, M., Grossman, M., Clark, D., Davis, J. and Risberg, J. (2011), "Innovative EcoCloud™ Helps Silicon Valley Companies Adopt Sustainable Practices", International Journal of Innovation Science, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 3-8. https://doi.org/10.1260/1757-2188.8.131.52
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