Water Conservation & The Possibilities
Learn About The Remarkable Opportunities Available Through Water Conservation
Apart from the air we breathe, water is our most precious natural resource – from helping crops to grow, to being used in our favorite beverages, on up to generating electricity at industrial power plants. The fact is, we cannot survive without water, and many parts of the world (including the United States) are facing increasing droughts and polluted water sources. Some of the best business ideas or franchise opportunities that require water have shut down operations in various areas so that local agricultural operations can thrive, and we are becoming very aware that we need to do something to conserve water, because it is a finite resource.
Luckily, water conservation is not just something that is taught in good intentions. As a matter of fact, water conservation is something that can be done at home, at school, and some have even turned this environmentally friendly movement into very lucrative business opportunities.
Water Conservation Business Opportunities
The water conservation movement has opened up a wide range of business opportunities for those who care about our planet, with grants and lenders that are willing to fund innovative ways to conserve water. The water industry generates over $60 billion every year. What sets the industry apart from others is that water is a finite resource, and the people in that field are always on the lookout for new ways to conserve water. For anyone with an engineering, biochemistry, or agricultural background, water conservation business opportunities are almost limitless. Likewise, people who are more community-oriented can find business opportunities in water conservation by bringing awareness to the people and by partnering with local businesses to ensure water conservation for a better tomorrow.
Water Conservation Start Ups
While government agencies, corporations, and lenders are always eager to find business owners who want to conserve water, a desire to save the planet alone will not make you successful. If you are starting a small business and looking to form a water conservation start up, lenders and investors will want to see a business plan detailing your idea, the research that will need to be done, the cost of running your business, how profitable it is, and how it can benefit both businesses and the environment in the long run. If you have a viable plan on how to conserve water for a local region, or how you can help major industries like agriculture, production, breaking new ground in assisting businesses meet environmental regulations, and helping the energy industry to use water more efficiently, then you should seek out investors and lenders to launch your business.
Water Conservation Loans
From an entrepreneurship perspective, entrepreneurs looking to start up a business focused on water conservation, there are many loan options available. The Small Business Administration (SBA) may not have loans specifically designed for the water conservation industry, but they are partnered with the EPA for small business funding for entrepreneurs who are working on new methods for water conservation and purification. Likewise the FDA has loans for water conservation entrepreneurs who are focusing on agriculture. Because most water conservation start ups require office space, equipment (in some cases, laboratories and testing spaces), many entrepreneurs look to alternative lenders in order to launch their businesses.
Many banks and traditional lending institutions are hesitant to supply the capital needed for new businesses and ideas that are considered “outside of the box.” Less than 40% of all business loan applications are approved by banks, leaving entrepreneurs looking to alternative lenders – such as angel investors, kickstarter campaigns, and commercial finance lenders for start up funds. Many commercial finance professionals are business owners, and understand the need for working capital when starting up an innovative venture. Commercial financiers act as facilitators, of sorts – putting entrepreneurs with other private lenders to get new business owners and franchise business owners the funding they need, at rates that are amenable to everyone. When it comes to the water conservation industry, lenders like to help out entrepreneurs because their ideas will benefit many facets of society (and by extension, the planet) for generations to come.
The Water Cycle
Before we get into water conservation, we need to understand the basics of the water cycle, and what happens at each stage. Water starts as we know it – a fluid which exists in ponds, lakes, rivers, and the ocean. The heat from our sun warms the water, causing it to evaporate and rise into the atmosphere. The air currents carry the moisture and it eventually cools, turning into clouds carrying precipitation (rain, sleet, snow, hail, etc.). When there are storms, the moisture condenses and falls back to the earth, feeding the plant life and running off into larger bodies of water to start the process all over again.
The water cycle is fairly basic, but problems arise when water cannot reach certain areas, or when the consumption of water exceeds the amount of rainfall that an area receives. In very arid locations – such as parts of China, India, Africa, and the western part of the United States – ground water and rainfall are scarce. When companies use that water for things like producing bottled beverages or installing hydroelectric plants to provide electricity to major cities, or when people excessively water their lawns or take extra long showers – those activities actually deplete the existing water, causing a drought. When there is a prolonged drought, small business ideas in those areas have to shut down, people have to move, and there is an increased danger of fires and encroaching deserts. In short, if no one is conserving water, our green planet, businesses, and livelihoods will vanish.
Water Conservation At Home
Water conservation is something that can be done at home, and it begins with simply being mindful of how you use water. For example, every time you flush a toilet, you are using 5-10 gallons of water (depending on the size of the tank). If you fill up two small bottles with sand or pebbles, replace the lids, and put them in the toilet’s tank, you can reduce that water usage to three gallons and still have adequate water to remove any waste. Leaking faucets can drip up to 20 gallons of water throughout the course of a day, so ensuring that all of your faucets and plumbing are tight can save otherwise wasted water. Reducing the amount of time you spend in the shower also saves on money. (For some perspective, a four minute shower can use 20-40 gallons of water.) Keeping an eye open for how you (and those in your home) utilize water, and taking measures to cut back on that usage is a great first step to water conservation. It is also very important to take the following tips to conserving water when running a home based business.
Water Conservation for Kids
Kids can bring awareness to water conservation to their schools and friends. They can start a water conservation club, and make sure they, their friends, and their friends’ families are also on board with conserving water at home and in school. Handy tips like washing dishes only when the dishwasher is full, only using the faucet when necessary (instead of leaving it running), and using a broom to clean outdoor areas instead of a hose can save upwards of ten thousand gallons of water per location, and decreased water usage translates to lower water bills. Saving money and helping the planet are two things everyone can get behind.
Water Conservation As A Global Concept
If everyone took steps practice water conservation in their homes and cities, it would make a big difference in turning around the growing droughts throughout the world. However, the businesses and electricity we all rely upon use so much water that people are trying to come up with ways to employ water conservation to save the planet, while also retaining the luxuries that have become parts of our everyday lives.
In farming, people have been working on figuring out how many drops of water each plant needs to grow healthy crops, as opposed to using millions of gallons of water and depleting natural resources unnecessarily. Other people are working on figuring out how to capture runoff water and storing it to be used by industrial plants instead of using water directly from lakes and rivers. In other areas, scientists are working on how to efficiently purify waste water and lower the cost of water treatment in order to provide clean, usable, and drinkable water to dry and lower income regions. Perhaps the biggest push is in the power and bottling industries, where major corporations are working hard to figure out how to use less water and improve their efficiency, while keeping houses lit and people hydrated with their favorite beverages.
The Future of Water Conservation
Conserving the water that various industries use, purifying waste water, and bringing clean water to dry areas is not something that we can change overnight. It’s a long road, and and we have to focus on all aspects of our lives – from how we use water in our homes, to making sure the agricultural industry and factories use water as efficiently as possible, to the energy industry balancing power output with water usage and waste. With mindful water usage, and people working hard to develop new and innovative ways to make clean water a plentiful and (ultimately) renewable resource, the water conservation industry is poised for exponential and long-term growth. Water is used in everything from the grass in our parks, to the vegetables we eat, and even in the production of our smart phones and cars, and we need to invest in our most precious natural resource now to ensure our future.