The Earth's surface is 70 percent water, yet less than 1 percent of it is usable – and even that is not always located where it's needed most. Currently, more than one billion people do not have access to safe water to meet their daily needs. The World's water supply will continue to dry up in the next decade, but a growing number of forward looking companies see opportunity in that "half-empty" glass.
Forty percent of the world's population currently lives in areas with moderate-to-high water stress. By 2025, it is estimated that about two thirds of the world's population – about 5.5 billion people – will live in areas facing such water stress.
Last year, GE (General Electric) dropped $1.1 billion to buy Ionics, a global desalination and water-recycling operation, and made it the centerpiece of its new "Ecomagination" program. GE's new $390 million Sulibiya plant (above photo) in Kuwait purifies 100 million gallons of water per day!GE recently won a $300 million contract to build a deslination plant in Algeria, where the taps are now open only every third day (by 2007, it will produce 53 million gallons daily).
GE's membranes are used in a wide range of applications, from purifying water for soft drinks to removing harmful chemicals from wastewater.GE is the world's leader in Reverse Osmosis, Nanofiltration and Ultrafiltration technologies, with membranes that can operate at high temperatures and throughout wide pH ranges.
Note from Technophile: The private sector manages water for just 7% of the world's population, a number predicted to double by 2016. Privatized water is estimated to be a $200 billion-a-year business. The World Bank believes it could hit $1 trillion by 2021.:: Source: [Ecomagination]
:: Fast Fact: In 2004, Israel closed a 20-year deal with Turkey to swap guns for water!