Clean Tech Forum 2009: Experts Discuss the Impending Water Crisis (Video)

water crisis panel photo

A panel of experts gathered at the Clean Tech Forum this week to talk about technologies that will help with the impending water crisis. The panel was drawn together to discuss water's role the "iron triangle" of water/energy/food, especially in light of how by 2025, there will be major fresh water shortages across the world, and yet we are completely unprepared for it. They covered why water technology isn't getting the investor attention it needs, and how water awareness is juuuust barely beginning to increase. Click through to listen to the panel. The panel is comprised of three water experts from differing backgrounds. From left to right, we have moderator Zane Gresham of Morrison Foerster LLP, Peter Williams, CTO of IBM Big Green, Andrew Williamson, Director of PHYSIC Ventures LLC, and Peter Frykman, Founder and CEO of Driptech Inc.

In this first clip, the panel addresses the question of why investment in water technology lags behind investments in energy technology.

Later, the panel addresses the trend in utilizing the energy contained in water and watching water consumption.

Snagging Tech from Other Sectors
This panel highlights the fact that water technology investments are critical right now and we're rapidly running out of time to get our ducks in a row. Neither the public or private sector are ready for the crisis. We have to explore the technologies that will get us through it...get drinking water to people, clean water to crops, and so on.

Andrew Williamson noted that some companies are starting to look at their non-water related technology and turning it towards water, such as using LED technology for water purification. More companies can start thinking about their products in terms of what it can do for water technology.

Free Ideas for Inventors
Also, Peter Williams of IBM tossed out a few starter ideas for inventors. He called out that a great invention much needed is a device that not only monitors home water consumption (that already exists) but that you can see what your bill at the end of the month will be if you continue with that consumption. Another one is coming up with a way for larger companies to monitor water use in a detailed way, such as by machine, by plant, etc, without having to put a meter on every pipe.

Andrew Williamson of PHYSIC added to this that one of the most attracitve investment areas is low energy tech for water, such as low energy desalination.
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