Water...it sustains all life.
Yet consider this: Worldwide, 80 countries suffer from water shortages, including highly productive agricultural areas in northern China, the western United States, and northwest India.
Four thousand children under the age of five die each day from water-born diseases. Almost 40% of all the water used in agriculture - the biggest consumer of water by far - is wasted.
But only 1% of venture capital money is going into efforts to alleviate the water shortage.
The key to changing that, say many experts, is to raise the price.
"The notion that there's an inherent right to water makes investment challenging," Will Sarni, head of the sustainability consulting firm Domani, said Tuesday during a panel at Fortune's Brainstorm Green conference.
'"It is a human right," said panelist Kevin McGovern, chairman of the Water Initiative, a business that brings water purification systems to homes and organizations worldwide. "But you can't have it for free."
Raser Technologies converts low-temperature water into power. Can this clean energy pioneer strike it rich?
By Carolyn Whelan, contributor
Off a lonely dirt road 30 miles west of Beaver, Utah, (pop: 6,162) on a brisk spring morning last year, wide grins crossed the faces of a handful of men in hardhats. They'd just hit pay dirt, only these modern day miners weren't prospecting for gold or oil. Their spoils? Tepid MOREFeb 18, 2010 7:21 AM ET
The U.S Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest not-for-profit commercial federation, representing some 3 million businesses. But it no longer represents Apple Inc. (AAPL).
On Monday, Apple resigned from the Chamber "effective immediately" over the organization's opposition to the Obama administration's environmental policies.
"We strongly object to the Chamber's recent comments opposing the EPA's effort to limit greenhouse gases," wrote Apple government affairs vice-president Catherine Novelli to Tom Donohue, CEO of MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 5, 2009 5:22 PM ET
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