Trash floats on top of the polluted water in Billings reservoir, the largest reservoir in São Paulo, Brazil, which, despite its filth, supplies 1.6 million people with water. The state government wants to make the water adequate for human consumption, adding to the complexity of securing safe water supply during the drought. Photo: Paulo Whitaker / Reuters

By Jack Brewer
27 March 2015

(CNBC) – UNICEF and the World Health Organization estimate that 768 million people do not have access to safe drinking water. As economies and populations expand, more water is needed to support this growth.

For example, Sao Paulo, which is home to more than 20 million people, is starting to run out of water as it grapples with one of the worst droughts in history, pollution and population growth. The unregulated disposal of human waste in the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda, for example, and insufficient drainage, has resulted in standing pools of contaminated water. During severe weather conditions, these pools present a major source of sewage-related outbreaks of diseases.

Right here in the U.S., algae blooms caused by fertilizer and nitrogen runoffs from agriculture into Lake Erie caused its water plant to become blocked, which resulted in water being shut down for hundreds of thousands of people in Ohio.

A few companies and their peers are leading the way in solving the world's water crisis, while focusing on their bottom line.

Consolidated Water has created a profitable business with its industry-leading technology for desalinated water. The company is experiencing exciting growth in the Caribbean and has made great traction in Mexico.

MagneGas Corporation has focused on the sterilization of waste water while producing a usable gas by-product. Through their patented Plasma Arc Flow technology, the company is able to completely sanitize waste water by reaching flame temperatures of over 10,000 degrees. The company is currently pursuing numerous global contracts focused in the emerging markets. [more]

Investing in the world's water crisis

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