The water crises — scarcity, severe storms, infrastructure decay — challenges us to re-invent our approach to water as a resource. We can no longer segregate between clean water and waste water. We can no longer segregate between water, energy and waste. Given the urgency of the series of crises that we face with regard to water scarcity, water pollution, flooding and infrastructure decay, we need to seek out completely new approaches to water management.
In Hindu culture, water is one of five essential elements necessary to maintain sustainability and harmony. Today’s most successful companies will focus on water innovation while incorporating efficient and responsible use of these other crucial elements (energy, air, land). Though most directly improving water management, these companies fit into a new scheme of resource use that maintains an ecosystem perspective and propel us toward holistic sustainability.
Hindu legend also tells that in times of great need, the Lord Vishnu, the creator, arrives as a reincarnation of himself, an avatar, to preserve, protect, and sustain life. (1) We need such revival for our perspective on how to treat, transport, and use water today.
New approaches to water management require innovation not just in developing technologies, but in applying them and bringing them to market.
Shining a Light on the Catalysts of Change
The Artemis Top 50 Company Competition seeks to highlight the companies that are bringing forth the solutions that address the full magnitude of the water challenges that we face. Many of the best companies can work in coordination with each other to support dramatically improved approaches.
As a group, the Top 50 competition participants show the emergence of a new water avatar that will provide the necessary solutions to ensure enough water for all to live and prosper.
The Artemis Top 50 Company Competition identifies transformational technologies that will awake the new water avatar. These solutions are bringing about a reincarnation of the water industry. Each year, the Top 50 competition convenes a world-class panel of experts to review company applications and rank them according to technical and economic value. In addition to the company’s technology, the panel evaluates the quality of the business strategy and the strength of the business team.
During the course of the competition this year, each of the judges has considered companies that provide giant steps forward in efficiently using resource to provide value.
“I have seen quite a few companies that provide components to transform water management and sustainability through reuse.”
- Calera combines several innovations in order to transform atmospheric air pollution, i.e waste into a new breed of cement.. Their required inputs and final product fit seamlessly into an intelligent cycling of materials that will become soon become the gold standard of resource management. By combining several technologies into a single system, Calera is creating a strong platform for leadership.
- Takadu provides a means to transform infrastructure maintenance. Through statistical algorithms, Takadu can identify anomalies in a piping network, isolating the small leaks before they become huge water losses and flagging irregular contamination loads before they become pervasive pollution plumes. Here is an example of a technology that provides a new means to maintain water infrastructure with real-time feedback and limited installation.
- Desalitech makes existing energy recovery solutions for desalination plants obsolete by making the treatment a closed loop process. Optimizing the pressures of the input and output flows, Desalitech makes desalination a less resource intensive process, dramatically decreasing energy requirements and maximizing membrane utility.
- Oasys offers the potential to desalt water with innovative process and systems engineering design that breaks away from conventional energy intensive methods.
- Solar Bee offers a non chemical solution to treat large bodies of algae infested water in a eco friendly sustainable manner.
During the last fifty years, the water industry has seen incremental innovations that have marginally impacted the cost to treat water using traditional concepts and ideas. The companies listed in the Artemis Top 50 offer the potential to transform the industry and address the global water challenges with sustainable solutions. The time is ripe for these companies to bring about dramatic changes in water treatment, management and quality.