There’s big money in water data

Energy data has gotten its fair share of attention this year (the Green Button project, the Opower Facebook app), but what about water data? Turns out, helping water utilities manage and monitor water using data and analytics is also a growing business, and Swiss power giant ABB (s ABB) has just made an investment in an Israeli water data startup called TaKaDu.

TaKaDu sells water utilities a software-as-a-service tool that crunches all sorts of water-related data like sensor data (from the utilities’ water network), location data, and weather data, and helps utilities cut down on water losses. The software can also help utilities detect real-time problems like leaks, security problems and other inefficiencies in their water networks.

The World Bank estimates that global water losses are as high as 25 percent, which is a $20 billion opportunity. And while water efficiency might not be at top of mind in states and countries that have ample water supplies, lack of drinkable water and aging water infrastructure are major world problems. TaKaDu counts British utility Thames Water as a customer.

ABB made the $3 million investment through its venture arm ABB Technology Ventures, and TaKaDu raised another $3 million from current investors Emerald Technology Ventures, Gemini Israel Funds and Giza Venture Capital. ABB has invested around $100 million into energy-related startups over the past two years.