China's latest need - opportunity for investors?

by: Ezra Marbach

Bill Gates saw the opportunity in 2004. And according to today's People's Daily, the problem is worse than previously expected. How can investors profit? Thankfully, Raymond James strategist Jeffrey Saut offers some suggestions.

The problem: Lack of clean water

China's severe water shortages are worsening due to:

  • Heavy pollution of lakes.
  • Urban development projects consuming water for lawns and fountains.

Water statistics:

  • More than 100 cities have inadequate water supplies.
  • More than 300 million rural Chinese lack clean drinking water.
  • More than 190 million others have to drink water with excessive hazardous substances.
  • 34% of China's rural population has to drink water that does not meet state standards.
  • Annual per capita water resources of Beijing residents is less than 300
    cubic meters, compared with the world's average of 1,000 cubic meters.

A January survey found that:

  • 53% of water in major rivers is undrinkable.
  • 35% of ground water is undrinkable.

Plans to raise water prices:

  • Beijing is likely to raise its water price to a record high but the timing remains unclear.

Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James had this to say - recommendations at bottom (entire piece here):

....According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, “As the world’s
population has tripled during the past century, the use of water has
increased sevenfold.