For most, water scarcity spells potential disaster. For Trevor Hill, 43, and Leo Commandeur, 47, it simply spelled potential. In 2003, they founded Global Water Resources, a water and wastewater utility that makes good with the old by reusing residential wastewater. They strategically established roots in Phoenix--an area where water was lacking, regulations were high and growth was booming. Since then, Global Water Resources has secured service territories representing 1.25 million future homes and devised a model that's replicable worldwide. Projected 2008 sales are $30 million.
Thanks to previous experience in the water industry, the duo knew that success meant having a three-part growth plan: Buy utilities where growth will occur, expand their service territory through key partnerships and apply their water conservation methods. "We set out to build a utility where we knew water would be a concern one day," Hill says. And doing it in an environmentally responsible way has their bottom line seeing green. "We've tried to be the place where tree-huggers and venture capitalists meet," says Hill. "We can show hard-core venture capitalists how to make money in a purely environmental business."