If you read this site you know that water is a major issue and how we relate to and manage our water could be the defining issue of the 21st century. Water innovation is just now starting to build buzz and attract investors, with venture capital still not flush and technologies very much in their infancy. Any discussion of macro-water issues brings up the smart water grid as a necessary but complicated step- but will smart water grids, currently a $530 million market, become a $16.3 Billion industry in the next ten years? A new report from Lux Research thinks it will.
According to Lux, the smart water grid market could balloon over the next ten years as it becomes increasingly important and draws both investment and innovation. Lux identifies 5 areas of the smart water grid, saying that start-up ventures will be most successful if they can integrate them in an innovative fashion: water mapping, water infrastructure, water quality monitoring, smart meters and smart irrigation.
The new technology and innovative management ideas around water from desalination plants and water footprint accounting are starting to catch the eyes of big businesses and investors. According to Drew Clark, Venture Capital Group Director of Strategy at IBM, said that factors from the Obama administration’s environmental stimulus money has created the perfect storm for water-focused start-ups and the development of a smart grid.
The report concludes: “While there are physical solutions or lower-tech options available to help solve the hydrocosm’s water management woes, the scale of water needs and the lack of funds for a complete overhaul of the physical infrastructure also call for the deployment of emerging information technology solutions to address these areas.”
For a look at some of that innovation, you can read up on Imagine H2O, a San Francisco-based national non-profit looking to support start-up water business ventures at Turning the World’s Water Problems into Opportunities.