Verge: The value, interconnection, and opportunities of water

Jay Owen Resource Efficiency



By Elaine Hsieh, Program Director & Senior Analyst – VERGE

We don’t typically talk about water here at VERGE, but that’s about to change.

While there may still be a disconnect between the cost and value of water, global drought has squeezed our energy and food systems to the point that the value of water can no longer be ignored.

The fact is that water, energy, food, climate, and economy are all interconnected, but most policy makers and the general public don’t seem to get it yet.

For example, here are some eye-opening stats: Running hot water from your kitchen faucet for five minutes uses the same amount of energy as running a 60-watt light bulb for 14 hours. In California, the single largest energy use (20%) is for moving and treating water across the state. And more than one-fourth of all the water we use worldwide is taken to grow over one billion tons of food that nobody eats. All of this water and energy demand puts pressure on the climate, and the more scarce water becomes as a result of climatic changes, the more likely it will cause economic struggles.

The inefficiencies inherent to our existing global water paradigm create significant VERGE opportunities. Water represents a new business arena, and water risk management is becoming more and more of an imperative.

Businesses like Facebook are embracing the data tracking opportunities, building portfolio owners like AT&T arecreating toolkits to scale water efficiency measures, and Trucost figured out a way to apply the true cost of water for business optimization. We’re also seeing sensor technology and data intelligence enable more efficient irrigation and produce better quality crops, disrupting some agricultural industries as a result.

If you want to learn more, we will be demonstrating how addressing water is creating opportunities within the VERGE ecosystem during our events in BostonParis, and San Francisco this year. After all, water has been undervalued long enough, and it’s more important than ever to make it an essential part of the systems-level discussions that will help us thrive in our increasingly interconnected world.

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May 01, 2013



VERGE Boston 2013
Mon, May 13 – Tue, May 14

Convergence Paris 2013
Wed, Jun 26 – Thu, Jun 27

UC Santa Barbara Summit on Energy Efficiency
Wed, May 1 – Thu, May 2
Santa Barbarba CA

Ceres Conference 2013
Wed, May 1 – Thu, May 2
San Francisco CA

Cleantech Open Business Accelerator Application Deadline
Wed, May 1

Silicon Valley Energy & Sustainability Summit
Fri, May 3
Redwood City CA

Is Biomass Energy Growing? What are the opportunities for this industry?
Tue, May 7
San Francisco CA

Biomass Energy
Tue, May 7
San Francisco CA

EE Global 2013
Mon, May 20 – Tue, May 21

WEST Summit 2013
Thu, May 23
Mountain View CA

Innovations in Technical Education to Advance Sustainability: Student Leadership
Thu, Jun 6 – Sat, Jun 8
Alfred NY

Are We Embarking On An Industrial Energy Management Revolution
Wed, Jun 12

Energy Efficiency Forum
Thu, Jun 13
Washington DC

The Eco Technology Show
Fri, Jun 14 – Sat, Jun 15

2013 Rising Seas Summit
Tue, Jun 18 – Thu, Jun 20
Fort Lauderdale FL

Facilities Management Summit
Wed, Jun 19
Chicago IL

31st Energy Management Congress West 2013
Wed, Jun 19 – Thu, Jun 20
Las Vegas NV

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