Fascinating to me, and to have a defense contractor to boot!
HT to Jim Henkenius.
Gist of short notice:
A defense contractor better known for building jet fighters and lethal missiles says it has found a way to slash the amount of energy needed to remove salt from seawater, potentially making it vastly cheaper to produce clean water at a time when scarcity has become a global security issue.
Why this matters so much: check out the NYT story on India's growing water woes.
That people in one of the rainiest places on the planet struggle to get potable water is emblematic of the profound water challenges that India faces. Every year, about 600,000 Indian children die because of diarrhea orpneumonia, often caused by toxic water and poor hygiene, according to Unicef.
Half of the water supply in rural areas, where 70 percent of India’s population lives, is routinely contaminated with toxic bacteria. Employment in manufacturing in India has declined in recent years, and a prime reason may be the difficulty companies face getting water.
And India’s water problems are likely to worsen. A report that McKinsey & Company helped to write predicted that India would need to double its water-generation capacity by the year 2030 to meet the demands of its surging population.
A separate analysis concluded that groundwater supplies in many of India’s cities — including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai — are declining at such a rapid rate that they may run dry within a few years.
The water situation in Gurgaon, the new mega-city south of Delhi, became so acute last year that a judge ordered a halt to new construction until projects could prove they were using recycled water instead of groundwater.
It's an old story: nobody really prioritizes the innovation until the national security tag gets slapped on - amidst a general defense budget slowdown. Then voila! Big player comes through.