Here's a flashback from the 1970s:
California has declared a water crisis that may extend several years into the future because of a combination of drought, population increases and inefficient water use.
The Sierra Nevada snow pack is 57 percent of normal, according to the Department of Water Resources. Shasta Lake, one of the big reservoirs with a capacity of 4.5 million acre/feet, is at 42 percent capacity, a decline from 57 percent last year.
Urban areas will be asked to curb consumption by 20 percent
For years experts have warned that the water crisis will sneak up fast on the public and here it is.
So what can be done? While desalination and other water reclamation technologies might help alleviate the problem over the long term, they won't be of much use over the next few years. They take years to build and plan. (This isn't New Deal-era America, or modern day Dubai, where bridges and other large structures can be built in 24 months.)
The cheaper and quicker alternative is going to come from things like the water management systems from companies like Hydropoint Data Systems
, which control lawn watering systems by dynamically tracking environmental conditions. Fifty percent of urban water use goes to landscaping -- count the trees in the Target parking lot next time. Nineteen percent of the energy in California is consumed in pumping water uphill for watering. Thus, cut water, cut greenhouse gases too.
Companies that sell purification equipment that can help curb consumption at industrial plants -- Halosource, Miox
, 212 Resources -- should also do well.
And another cool thing about these companies: They mostly sell to private industry, not public agencies. The sales cycle is shorter.