Imagine a world in which desalinated water, instead of being five or 10 times the cost of water from a river or lake, was just as cheap as any other supply. Suddenly desalination would be the solution for lots of water problems, from cities to farms to oil fields.
Imagine a world in which data about how much water people are using isn’t five years out of date before it’s available, but arrives in real time—just like data about energy use.
It’s an effort to bring some zest, some disruption, and some creativity to what has been one of the dustiest sectors of the economy for almost a century.
Imagine a world, in fact, in which companies, universities, and governments invested in new water technology in ways that matched investments in computing, or biotechnology, or cancer research—and and gave us new, more effective ways to tackle problems from the California drought to the lead-poisoned water in Flint, Michigan.
In its last 11 months in office, the Obama Administration wants to lay the groundwork for that kind of water innovation, hoping to jumpstart new investments, new technologies, and most of all a new attitude.–by Charles Fishman in Co.Exist | ideas + impact.