The Green Building Sector Is Ripe for Water-Saving Innovation, Report Says

681px-Water1Water scarcity is becoming a hot-button issue in the U.S. (and globally), with water managers in 36 states saying they expect freshwater shortages hitting their states by early in the next decade. But the coming shortages could present opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors to develop new water-saving technologies. One ripe area for innovation is the building sector, according to a report, titled “Green Buildings + Water Performance,” released this week by publisher Building Design+Construction.
Buildings account for about 12 percent of water use in the country, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and green building ratings systems like the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED encourage more efficient use of water, such as through low-flow toilets, drip irrigation and on-site water reuse. Typically more water is consumed outside commercial buildings and homes (see charts below taken from the report) — for landscape irrigation and cooling towers — than is used inside by things like toilets, faucets and showers, according to the report. With that in mind, we’ve summarized the three areas in green building design noted in the report as the most promising for reducing water use outside buildings:
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Oh Canada! Canucks Watch a Ton of Online Video

Americans tend to glom onto certain Canadian stereotypes (Aboot! Free health care! Geddy Lee!) and beat them into the ground. Well now you can add “global leader in online video viewing” to that list of Canadian quirks. ComScore released new numbers today that showed 21 million Canadians watched 3.1 billion online videos in February, for an average of 10 hours each.
Here’s how the Great White North compared with the U.S. in February.

Stat Canada United States
Percent of Web Audience
Watching Online Video
88 75.5
Minutes of Online Video
Watched by Avg. Viewer
605 312
Videos per Viewer 147 90
Average Video Length (mins) 4.1 3.5

Of course, in terms of sheer size, the U.S. dominates, with 145 million unique viewers watching 13.1 billion videos in February. But pound for pound, that 88 percent figure represents the highest penetration among the five countries (Canada, U.S., UK, Germany, France) on which comScore Video Metrix reports. Take off, hoser! Online video in Canada is a beauty way to go! (OK, that was the last one.)

Water Management Startup HydroPoint Seeks Cash

Water management company HydroPoint Data Systems is looking to raise between $4 million and $8 million, Chief Strategy Officer (updated: and former CEO) Chris Spain told us recently, and he expects the round to close in the second quarter. HydroPoint is open to adding new investors if it brings “real strategic” additional value, he added.

The Petaluma, Calif.-based company has raised $35.9 million from three earlier fundings, as well as an additional undisclosed sum from Citi’s Sustainable Development Investments in 2007. Other investors in those previous rounds include RockPort Capital Partners, Firelake Capital Management, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, Monitor Ventures, J.F. Shea Venture Capital, the venture capital arm of homebuilder Shea Homes, and The Toro Co., a landscaping firm.
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