Opportunities and Challenges in Water and Wastewater Innovation

The Cleantech Group has released an informative whitepaper covering the findings from their September invitation-only Water Innovation Summit.

The report touches on the utility perspective on innovation, smart water networks, financing innovation, sustainable water management in the oil and gas sector, opportunities in water and agriculture, and securing clean water for industries.

The Water Innovation Summit was held as part of Cleantech Group’s ongoing effort to support the water technology community.

The Cleantech Group believes that water is poised to become a leading cleantech theme and investment sector over the next few years and that the demand for innovative solutions to industry challenges is growing.

Water and waste water technologies are being watched closely by major corporations and key investors, the group notes.

The key takeaways and learnings covered in the report include:
•Innovation at a water utility is driven by 3 C’s: Cost, Crisis, and Cool.

•”Water as a Service” is a new and innovative business model that can help entrepreneurs sell to conservative, financially-strapped water utilities.

•We are shifting from an ‘era of water development’ to an ‘era of water allocation’ (water rights).

•The water-energy nexus is more than ever appropriately the water-energy-food nexus.

Over the course of the Summit, agriculture was recognized as one of the most important sectors in water management given the significantly high percentage of water that gets allocated to farming.

“A good model brings together industry, academic, and farming communities to develop new technology,” said Henrik Skov Laursen, Director at Grundfos’ Silicon Valley office.

Potential solutions discussed included precision irrigation, pump efficient solutions and use of treated waste water for irrigation.

Also the topic of real-time monitoring of field yield, soil characteristics, moisture sensors and general equipment performance including pumps was discussed as being an area with great opportunities for new business creation all of which likely will cause a new generation of farmers to pay more attention to water and spearhead entrepreneurs to commercialize new technologies and companies.

The key findings and actionable plans resulting from this event can be downloaded for free at www.cleantech.com/water. The 2013 Water Innovation Summit is scheduled for September 10-11.

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