Israel’s President, Mr. Shimon Peres, Meets TaKaDu to Discuss Innovation in the Water Sector
By Amir Peleg
Last week, Some of TaKaDu’s employees and I had the pleasure of meeting Israel’s President, Mr. Shimon Peres. We met the president just as he was returning from the World Economic Forum at Davos, where I happened to meet him for the first time, two years ago, when TaKaDu was recognized as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer for 2011.
This meeting was at his request: he wanted to learn more about how innovation can solve some of the world’s water problems and the looming water security crisis, recently ranked high by the Global Risk Survey 2013 of the World Economic Forum.
President Peres commented that the water crisis is one of the more imminent global crises facing humanity. We spoke about the fact that over 25% of potable water in the world is lost in the water distribution system as a result of leaks, bursts and other network issues (the professional term is “non-revenue water”). I was impressed by Mr. Peres’s interest in water efficiency and its wide implications, and his excitement about the opportunity to impact global problems through the use of new water technologies.
We presented TaKaDu’s vision of water network monitoring, to reduce water loss and improve operational efficiency by identifying and alerting upon network issues as they occur, through data analytics. I made the point that the issue is not as simple as it seems. The scarcity of water as a resource is not the only issue at hand. The bigger scarcity in the water sector is scarcity of technology innovation. This innovation has the potential of resolving many water sector issues. Israel’s high tech industry can serve as an optimal breeding ground for water technology innovation, since it has the three major requirements needed to foster technology innovation: (1) an entrepreneurial spirit and seasoned entrepreneurs, (2) a high degree of awareness of water issues, and (3) a well-developed venture capital community and government support of R&D efforts. Water innovation can take today’s water networks into the 21st century, solving water scarcity issues by better management of water distribution networks.
Mr. Peres expressed his support and hope that more people, in both industry and academia, will see water innovation as the core theme of the companies they found and the technologies they seek to develop.