WHERE IS THE INVESTMENT?
It is an acknowledged fact that all humans are the product of what they eat, drink, and breathe. Because food sources, whether plant or animal, are dependent upon water for their existence, water is critical to 2 of the three. Expanding water’s role even more into the breathing realm by considering things such as the aerosol release of viruses and bacteria causing disease spread as in legionnaires disease, water truly impacts our survival at all levels. There is a fixed amount of water on earth as determined by the first law of thermodynamics and it will exist as liquid, solid, or vapor and constantly change between the three. Though much of the water is unusable for sustaining life because of its present chemistry, this can be permanently or temporarily changed by technology.
Where is the investment in intellect and money to more readily and economically provide a more reliable source of usable water through technology? A close examination of business and investment news indicates that much if not most of the investment oxygen in the room is being sucked up by medical, communication, and social media enterprises. One is noble and the others are hardly earth moving in their worth.
Development of Usable Water
Out of necessity, advanced nations in arid areas fine-tune membrane technology (incremental development) of almost 60-year-old technology. The best-known name in the US water industry has little or no R&D and derives most income from a basic technology dating to 1936. Another major international company seemingly exists to provide components to support the 1936 technology. Most recently a huge investment was made by a company staffed by brilliant scientists. Their product is yet another source of materials for the 1936 technology.
Until the world hits a total scarcity of usable water and crisis prevails, apparently private and public investment will continue to be siphoned off elsewhere. A clone of Elon Musk or Steve Jobs is desperately needed as visionaries more so than hardcore investors. Many companies, including ours, have products in stages from idea to embryonic, to proof of concept to field sampled that lie fallow for want of investment and professional guidance.
Perhaps prospects will change when the critical needs of water are severely challenged.