Water Technology in 2020
A while ago, we were blown away by a project where a Texas-based S2C Global Systems is planning to ship supertankers of Alaskan drinking water to India. Many big boys smell an opportunity here. However, with the Earth’s population growing, reaching 9-billion by the mid-century, and considering the disproportions in the world water availability, we will need far more than a worldwide water exchange aside the stock market.
Water shortages that will emerge during this century will change the way we think about water.
So, what is the future of water technology? Projects like The Water Project and products like LifeStraw are very welcome, but are just the beginning. After going into details you will be overwhelmed by the variety of problems related to water – availability, efficiency of use, waste, hydropower, policies and so on.
However, things are not that good with common knowledge. It is often thought that the problem is only in lack of clean drinking water in the Third World. This is a typical catastrophe-first mindset. The actual problem exists already today and is in lack of water supply as such all around. It is set to escalate sooner than we expect, as in 20 years we will most probably need “a second Earth”, meaning that we will need new products and solutions driven by completely new understanding of how we use up this valuable natural resource.
All water related products can be divided into 5 major groups:
- Drinking water
- Climate monitoring
- Water usage efficiency
- Energy/Power generation
- Protection of water environments
All these have sub-groups, many of which are depending on government policies. Additionally, as already mentioned previously, a completely new business area is emerging – bulk water trade. So, altogether six groups that can all be looked at as separate industries. As constraints boost creativity, the next decade will force us in developing new products in these fields.