ICYMI: World Water Day makes a splash, greener fracking and more

ICYMI -- "In Case You Missed It" -- is a regular Friday feature recapping the news of the week.

Greetings, readers, and happy World Water Day! I am celebrating by having only water to drink for the past 24 hours. Also, I'm writing to you from the depth of the Flu Zone, and water is all I can handle. As a result, please forgive brevity, typos, excessive rants and so on. Let's begin, shall we?

World Water Day

Bad news first: Water, as we all know, is actually our most precious resource. Too bad that the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the U.S. water infrastructure -- you know, those pipes that bring us water on demand -- a grade of D, saying it will cost $1 trillion to fix the system. The good news: In 2009 the infrastructure received a D-minus.

• Dow is launching today H2OME, a web-based tool aimed at highlighting the water intensity of everyday items, from pots and pans to electronics. The company is also highlighting its water-saving efforts, including a new partnership with Ahlstrom to bring highly efficient, low-cost water purifiers to people with insufficient access to clean water.

• IBM today launches a new mobile app called "WaterWatcher," aimed at South Africa's water system. The majority of the country's population lacks access to water in their homes, and South Africa recently ranked 128 out 132 countries in the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy's 2012 Environmental Performance Index, gauging the world's water, air and overall environmental performance.

ImagineH2O announced this week the winners of its fourth annual Innovations Prize, with awards going to companies creating products to solve a range of water issues, including Hydrosolutions' leak prevention alert system, PaveDrain's stormwater drainage system, Innogation's smart landscaping water efficiency technology, and DioHaiti for bringing water distribution to the bottom of the pyramid.

Water-saving farming strategies: The Food Tank, a food-focused think tank, has released a list of 10 strategies for farmers, policymakers and individuals aimed at reducing water waste. Among the solutions: Farmers can embrace cover crops and intercropping, switch to perennials instead of annual crops, and harvest rainwater everywhere. And everyone can/should cut down on meat -- hello Meatless Monday (and Tuesday, and Wednesday, etc.)!

Next page: Greener fracking, the best utilities for smart grid, Earth Day & Earth Hour haters ...