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Water Wednesday: Alliance to share water risk data; the value of wastewater

Water Wednesday: Alliance to share water risk data; the value of wastewater

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Alliance to share water risk data; Wastewater is focus of latest prize for water entrepreneurship

Contributor’s Note: This is an ongoing column in water sustainability, consumption and management issues. The rationale is simple: water is a more urgent priority for corporate social responsibility programs and becoming more so every day.

Corporate leaders to share water risk data
The World Resources Institute (WRI) has created a consortium called the Aqueduct Alliance, which is a consortium of what it describes as water leaders from the private sector, academia and non-governmental organizations.

The founders include WRI, Goldman Sachs and General Electric; companies that have already signaled their involvement include Bloomberg, Coca-Cola Co., Dow Chemical Co., Talisman Energy and United Technologies.

The intellectual value of the alliance will lie in a database of water risk information that apparently provides pretty detailed hydrological data about the implications of water management within certain geographies. The idea is that the more the businesses, communities and governments know, the less stress they will put on water resources in those areas.

Said Kyung-Ah Park, managing director for the Goldman Sachs Environmental Markets Group:

"Water risk is becoming an increasingly critical global issue, but one that is inherently local and not yet fully considered in business and investment decisions. Aqueduct will work to facilitate better management of water risk and help identify market opportunities that drive more sustainable economic development."

The initial prototype of the water risk database includes information about the Yellow River Basin in northern China. The alliance's interactive Web platform ultimately will include other global and local information from around the world.

Wastewater is focus of latest water entrepreneurship prize
Business incubator organization Imagine H20 will start accepting entries for its next water business plan competition on Sept. 1, 2011.

The focus for this year's competition, which will issue $150,000 in cash and in-kind services to the winner and runners-up, is how to turn wastewater into a resource. Since this is a $200 billion sector, one might imagine that the resource supply is substantial.

Said the Imagine H20 Prize manager Kate Gasner:

"Wastewater is all about perception and the industry's strategy is evolving from risk management to asset recovery. Our 2011 Prize in an initiative to position wastewater as a business opportunity while supporting a new wave of entrepreneurship within the sector."

The competition has two tracks: pre-revenue and early revenue. Companies that make it to the finalist phase will have the opportunity to enter the Imagine H20 Accelerator Program, which helps early businesses make connections to help get their product or idea to market.

The entry deadline will be Nov. 15, 2011. Aside from founding sponsor, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), other supporters of the competition include Cooley LLP, PwC, Hobbs & Towne, Oglivy Earth, Earth Growth Financial Services and Full Circle Fund.

Past Water Wednesday posts:

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure