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Turning Water into Gold: Business Opportunities in Water Scarcity

3p Contributor | Friday March 6th, 2009 | 1 Comment

drinking-dirty-water-croppe.jpgBy Sudha Reddy
Though its been raining on and off here in California, the state is in serious drought. Water authorities might have to start rationing if the crisis doesn’t evade soon. Many other states and countries are in a similar situation — experiencing serious decrease in water supply for the first time in several decades. Water scarcity is one of the worst side effects of global warming. Water is the next big crisis after energy but much bigger than energy because it has no substitutes. There is a possibility of us surviving without oil, but water is an essential need for all living organisms, without which we cannot survive. Much of the world’s agriculture depends on water cycle. Moreover, every business, be it technology or food-based, needs water and a decrease in water supply will adversely affect each one of them.
The water industry is facing huge challenges right now. While there is no way to increase the world’s water supply, we can prevent these circumstances by conserving water and eliminating water wastage altogether. And this could mean a lot of wonderful opportunities to build a business, that would could make a difference as well as profits in the water industry, both in developed as well as developing countries. ” Water is already demanding a price whether indirectly or directly, ” says Zane Greshman at Morrison Forrestor, and its time businesses got into this industry and reduce the wastage.


Whether a business is focused on developed or developing nations, there is a documented need:
For business focusing on developed countries, the solutions should pertain to water conservation and reducing wastage:
*systems to monitor and control water use
*grey water systems
*systems to measure water flow without having a meter in line
*developing an algorithm to calculate water usage given the pressure, temperature and vibration.
Working with corporations calculating their water footprint is also a need we’re going to see more and more in the coming months, as the cost of water rises due to drought.
For developing countries water purification, availability, and filtration are more important. The same water that’s wasted in developed countries can serve a huge need in developing countries. Some of the business opportunities for developed countries could include:
*drip irrigation systems with innovative financing options
*water purification/filtration at a lower cost
*water delivery service
When considering these opportunities, business should consider sustainability right from the start: “Products and services that are low cost, that use no power, and are installed without breaking in any existing pipes could be ideal,” says Andew Williamson from Physic Ventures.


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  • hou

    can you please explain what you mean by “systems to measure water flow without having a meter in line”?