Silicon Valley wants more water startups

This 28-year-old picks next big startup
This 28-year-old picks next big startup

Let 2017 be the year of more water startups.

Y Combinator, which counts companies like Reddit, Airbnb and Instacart among its portfolio companies, wants to see more startups working on technologies that will make clean water "abundant and cheap."

It put out a call on Tuesday for water startups to apply to its its elite three-month accelerator program in Mountain View, California.

"We're optimistic we will beat climate change. But, at the same time, we need to prepare for things to get worse," the company said in a blog post.

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Increased temperatures as a result climate change are projected to impact our water supply. About 1.6 billion people live in places with "absolute water scarcity," a number expected to rise to 2.8 billion people by 2025, World Bank data suggests.

YC wants to do its part to elevate companies working on solutions to best position society.

The company threw out some potential ideas for startups: "Lower-cost desalination plants, novel purification technologies, smart irrigation systems, mechanisms to reduce water usage, or something completely different."

According to YC president Sam Altman, water is an area that not enough people are working on.

"We wanted to make it clear to people considering the space that we'd be excited to talk," he told CNNMoney.

Altman said that he expects YC will come out with a few more areas of interest in 2017 "but not many more."

In September, YC introduced what it calls a "Request for startups" to do encourage startup applicants focused on areas it wants to support. The company broke out 21 categories, including things like energy, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, global health, transportation and housing, that are areas of interest.

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