Francisco Noguera

First Energy, then Food… is Water Next? A News Roundup

Water DropToday’s New York Times front page features, once again, the pressing crisis that has risen from soaring food prices around the world. The debate has found its way to institutions like the UN and the World Bank, who have called for urgent measures to keep the world’s poorest from suffering the hardest consequences.

Meanwhile, another issue is slowly gaining momentum and I’m sure we’ll begin to hear more and more about it in the coming months: water scarcity. The past two weeks have seen extensive coverage, discussing everything from proper pricing and innovative technologies, to business models and new concepts like that of “virtual water.” This is an issue I will explore in depth in the coming months as I will be joining Al Hammond in the Global Social Benefit Incubator project, studying and mentoring innovative business models that tackle the issue of clean water supply for the poor.I’m very excited about this opportunity to learn more about a subject that will be increasingly important for my generation, so stay tuned for detailed coverage. Meanwhile, here’s a quick roundup of the last two weeks for those of you interested in following this discussion:

Financial Times addressed the issue of proper water pricing, based on the penalty that the world’s poorest pay for access and possible measures of accountability on behalf of the world’s most water-intensive industries.

Meanwhile, Catherine Laine’s AIDG blog brought a new technology to my attention: a water purification system by Dean Kamen, which was covered by the Colbert Report. For those of you unfamiliar with Kamen’s inventions, he is the man behind Segway and his water system was also featured by R&D.

Triplepundit also featurd two great pieces on the investment opportunities and the challenges that surround the issue of water management and supply.

WaterHealth International, an Acumen Fund investee, is widely recognized as a successful business model in the water sector. Their experience and the role Acumen has played in their development has been explored in a Stanford Case Study that I came across recently.

By the way, for those of you who haven’t read Jacqueline Novogratz’s “The Value of Water”, I encourage you to do so. Not to go off the subject of this post, but if you like that piece, keep browsing for trip journals. Her writing is just fantastic.

More about water to come soon, as the GSBI project unfolds. Have a great weekend!