NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Water shortages like the one afflicting California have created a business opportunity for WaterSmart Software, a company that provides data to water utilities to help them and their customers better conserve water.
CEO Robin Gilthorpe says his San Francisco-based company helps utilities and consumers save water and money by combining the data the utility uses with its own data. The data help utilities understand who is using how much water and how customers can change their usage patterns.
Gilthorpe said even before the California drought his business was already on tear. WaterSmart recently raised $7 million in Series B funding and is using the proceeds to expand in the domestic market. He added WaterSmart serves millions of families in about four dozen communities.
The company plans to start looking abroad next year and, if successful, "we'd probably go for another round of fundraising."
Gilthorpe said the crisis in California requires a multi-pronged approach including water conservation, water recycling and desalination, all of which are long-term projects.
Gilthorpe also said more capital is needed in the water industry, saying the investment gap for water infrastructure in the U.S. is about a trillion dollars and "no one is going to write that check." He said more public-private partnerships and venture capital would be helpful, along with more government money.