The world may be running low on its most precious commodity—water.
This map shows water scarcity projections for the world in 2025. Large chunks of Australia, Asia, Africa and North America are expected to have severe water issues.
Credit Suisse estimates that, by 2020, 37 percent of the global population will face severe water stress.
The problem is unrelenting demand for a finite resource. Since the 1940s, the global population has tripled to more than 6 billion people worldwide. Over the same period, global water use has quadrupled.
Water infrastructure has been slow to attract money from investors. The chart below from Credit Suisse shows that private sector investment in water infrastructure in emerging markets—where it is most desperately needed—is at pretty much the same level it was 20 years ago. Over the same period, investment in telecommunications has increased roughly 1400 percent and energy 5000 percent.
Even now there’s only a handful of investible companies that offer exposure to water infrastructure.
Credit Suisse thinks investment growth “should pick up substantially over the next 5-10 years,” with the bulk of this investment likely going to desalination and recycling opportunities.
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