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.
If you want to learn more, we will be demonstrating how addressing water is creating opportunities within the VERGE ecosystem during our events in Boston, Paris, 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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