US corporate giants enter pure water biz

Water has always been an issue in California. But drought conditions, not to mention worries about continued supplies of clean water, are turning water into a growth industry in California and elsewhere. Big companies like General Electric, Siemens and Veolia Environnement of France have ambitious plans to bring water to developing countries and clean water everywhere. But many small companies are finding niches and doing well these days, too. Puretec Industrial Water, of Oxnard, California, for example, "grew 34 per cent last year," said Mr Jim Harris, the owner and president.