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May 27, 2008

"Water is a bigger priority than global warming"

At the recent Top Ten Tech Trends event organized by the US-based Churchill Club, Joe Schoendorf, Partner at Accel Partners and Vinod Khosla, Founder, Khosla Ventures made the following interesting comments on this topic: (Source: Tech Trader Daily)

Water tech will replace global warming as a global priority. The world is running out of usable water and (this) will kill millions more in our lifetime than global warming. Darfur could go down as the first water war of the 21st century. And with 2 million deaths, might not make the top 10 list. One billion of 6 billion people do not have healthy water. We’re losing close to 1 million people a year under 5 years old due to dirty water. Imagine a 60 year drought in this state. Within 15 years, will be up to 3 billion people with a water problem. 70% of water (is) used for agriculture; 90% (by) developed countries. If nano technology can work, and can figure out desalinization, (it) can prevent many wars over the next 30 years. (We are) missing the Al Gore for water.

Khosla agrees it is important, but not that it is more important than global warming. Global warming is causal, Khosla says. In 25-30 years, (water) will be rarer commodity than oil, and more valuable. Khosla says he is invested in two water companies, and looking for more. Schoendorf notes that T. Boone Pickens is selling oil companies and buying water companies.

Other member of the panel included Steve Jurvetson, Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson; Josh Kopelman, Managing Partner, First Round Capital and Roger McNamee, Co-Founder, Elevation Partners. Check out other predictions of the panel captured by Tech Trader Daily here

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.