I think smart start ups and innovative individuals change the planet more than anyone accounts for. Progress is all around us, but it's often measured one drop of water at a time, while the headlines rage on about bad news. In my day job, I'm a water recycling guy working in heavy industry. From my perspective, smart policies, hard work and innovation always win out because the bean counters see how much money it saves. Even in North America there are still big wins available. There is a ton of low hanging fruit for conservation minded manufacturing firms to pick.
From a wonderful new book The Water Atlas by Robin Clarke and Janet King. Short, concise, great cartography and data presentaion. One page per topic. Easily accessible by anyone. A great meta resource for pros.
"Industries in developed countries,driven by regulations and the desire to cut costs, have generally reduced the amount of water they use. Steel can now be produced using less than a quarter of the water it once used. In the USA industrial use per person halved between 1950 and 1990, while industrial output nearly quadrupled. Unless the newly industrializing countries learn the water conservation lesson, they will place unacceptable demands on water resources"
This book is a great business model for today. Focuses on real problems and quantifies them. Offers solutions to change the world in 128 pages... My kind of folks.
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