Fast Company reports on China's continued efforts to invest in green technology, particularly water conservation methods that have the potential to limit China's vulnerability to droughts. Fast Company profiles 'Driptech' - a California company that has gained the attention of the Chinese government due to its simple technology that reduces the water needed to grow crops:
Driptech was started back in 2008 byPeter Frykman and the idea grew out of Stanford's popular Design for Extreme Affordability class. The idea was to give smallholder farmers an alternative to the more expensive, large-scale pressurized irrigation systems that lead to excessive water waste. Frykman came up with the idea to line rows of crops with a simple polyethylene plastic punched with holes so that water could go directly to the roots of crops, rather than flood an entire plot of land. Named Driptech and now in operation across China and India, the $100 technology reduces water usage by 30%, making it a highly attractive option to small-scale farmers who want to save costs.
With $600 billion over 10 years allocated to water conservation technology alone, China is set to become the world's leader in the use of green tech, leaving America way, way behind. To put it in perspective, the US government pledged only $70 billion in order to use green technology to upgrade the country's infrastructure - a paltry amount given the drastic need to cut down on energy use and waste.