Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The growing importance of water

The most recent Sunday New York Times included two articles of interest to readers of this blog.

The first article, which does not seem to be available online, discusses Israel's water shortage and the threat that it poses to the agricultural sector. You can check out an associated NY Times video on YouTube.

The second article, "A Tall, Cool Drink of... Sewage?", analyzes the growing importance of wastewater treatment and water recycling in the United States. This trend should present economic opportunities for Israel, which is a world leader in the development of water technologies.

The new Orange County, California, Groundwater Replenishment System, illustrates how valuable the market for water technologies could be: the system cost $480 million to build and will cost $29 million a year to operate.

The linkage between water and energy is also interesting. California, as the NY Times points out, uses a staggering 20% of its energy just to move water from the rainy north to the dry southern portion of the state.

For more on the connection between energy and water innovation, take a look at this article by Bill Aulet of MIT. The Israeli government is also taking note of the connection and will devote an entire day of the upcoming Prime Minister's Conference to exploring the "Water-Energy Nexus."