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Old May 20 2012, 07:46 PM   #106
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Re: What are your top 5 technologies of the next 15 years?

sojourner wrote: View Post
So, Rama, why hasn't running water, a what, 3 thousand year old technology, made it to every human on the planet by now?
Water seems simple doesn't? But it's a resource people have been fighting for for a long time, partly because we only have had easy access to .5% of the water on the planet (see quote below). Politics, religion, culture, war, natural disasters have all limited availability of clean water. In harsher climates, people often spend half the day acquiring access to water, limiting employment, health, and spending money. Many nations in the world can't afford the infrastructure necessary to supply running water. Roughly 900 million (depending on where you get your data) don't have access to it. Even so, this is certainly a higher total than 50 years ago, or 100.

What is changing is seen in the UN data I've posted before, countries and people have more wealth than ever. Add to this the scale and price of the technology available to bring access to clean water has changed, and in reality it doesn't matter if the water runs, only that it's clean...

We talk about water wars. And yet we fight over 0.5% of the water on the planet. Diamandis talks of Dean Kamen’s Slingshot device, which can generate 100 liters clean water from any source. Coca Cola is apparently going to test this in the field soon–with a view to deploying it globally. Given how much water that company consumes, this is a big deal. Or, as Diamandis puts it, “this is the kind of innovation empowered by this technology that exists today.”
The cheap Slingshot device, which will likely revolutionize the world on many levels.

BTW, care to guess what percentage of the world had running water 3,000 years ago?

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