Water’s Scarcity Spells Opportunity for Entrepreneurs

Mar 21, 2011

By ERICA GIES
Published: March 21, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO  Hydrovolts, a start-up company in Seattle, has developed a portable turbine that generates energy from water flowing in irrigation canals. BlackGold Biofuels, based in Philadelphia, takes fats, oils and grease out of wastewater to create biodiesel.

Equipment by BlackGold Biofuels being put into place at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s oceanside water pollution control plant.

Last week, Hydrovolts won the 2010 Imagine H2O prize, an annual competition established in 2007 to encourage innovation in water technology. BlackGold was one of two runners-up. Both are poster children for the flourishing “blue tech” economy that is drawing innovators, entrepreneurs and investors into the water industry.

“Water is mission critical in everything that we produce, eat, need, and underpins pretty well all economic development,” said David Henderson, a partner at XPV Capital in Toronto, a venture capital firm that focuses on water technology.

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