IBM Dives Into Water Business

Big Blue wants to help make water safer

By Scott Budman
|  Monday, Mar 16, 2009  |  Updated 3:23 PM CDT
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Next Big Thing: Water

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IBM wants to move water, and make money doing it.

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Next Big Thing: Water

Technology giant IBM is working on the next big thing -- how to make more clean water available.
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Big Blue is looking green.

IBM's Almaden Research Center, based in San Jose, is tackling what some call the "next oil" -- water.

 IBM scientists, like Young-Ha Na, are working in the lab to make your drinking water safer.  We found Na working on a membrane to make sure chemicals don't make it into your house.

The company also aims to make water movement more efficient.  IBM claims 20 percent of the energy used in California is used to move water from place to place.  If that's done more efficiently, IBM officials tell us the environment benefits, and lots of money can be made as well.  After all, going green, as we know, can help a company make some green.

And here's something cool: IBM discovered the roots of its new plan when it took a close look at the way it made computer chips.  Water is used there too, and scientists realized that if water could be moved more efficiently in the lab, it could be moved more efficiently around a state, or even a country.

Look for IBM to outline the specifics of its plan on Monday.  It sounds blue and green at the same time.

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