Water! History tells us that many of the wars and conflicts have been fought over water. Civilizations have thrived where the rivers flowed and became the settlement of most major cities. Water is integral to economic development and while many technologies to provide safe drinking water have emerged, the challenge is to provide an economical solution to developing countries.
Power! More than a quarter of the world still lacks electricity. Every single aspect of our daily life is dependent on uninterrupted supply of power and yet we have left large parts of humanity without access due to shortages and high cost of supply.
During my summer course at the UCLA, I conceptualized an innovative process for renewable energy using Principles of Chemistry and Nanoscience. The idea was to use seawater to generate energy and clean drinking water for the state of California.
While mine is a small effort, I am rooting for a major breakthrough that can result in both clean water and renewable energy. Yes, there can be many other scientific breakthroughs in the near future but till we get water and power right, nothing else matters as these two are critical to sustainable development of the world.