Contrary to public perception, fresh water supply is scarce and finite.
According to UNESCO, only 3% of the world’s water is made up of fresh water and most of this is located in polar ice caps. Experts put the amount of available drinkable water at 1%, of which, some two-thirds of this amount is already polluted.
The only renewable source of freshwater is continental rainfall which generates a constant global supply of 40,000 to 50,000 cubic km per year. With the world population increasing by an estimated 85 million per year, the availability of freshwater per capita is decreasing rapidly.
Water as an Investment Theme
The 4th World Water Summit highlighted two important trends in the water industry.
The first is the increasing role of corporate involvement across the entire water supply chain which encompasses water collection and processing, supply and wastewater management, the laying of pipelines and the building of water treatment plants.
The second is the huge demographic pressures that are being felt as a result of rapid urbanisation and industrialisation of highly populated countries like China and India. The World Health Organisation estimates that 35% of the world’s population will live in areas with water problems by the year 2025.
ABN AMRO Private Banking Asia thinks water is a great investment.