That bottle of water on your desk likely cost many times more than its equivalent in gasoline. No wonder investments in water have outperformed global indexes by a sizable margin. But first, a little background.
Almost all of the water on earth is salt water with only about 2.5% considered “fresh.” Of this, less than 1% is accessible surface water. In many areas, the water is polluted, exacerbating the supply constraint. Additionally, while fresh water supplies are relatively static, global populations are expected to increase from less than 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050. And much of this population growth is occurring in developing economies where access to fresh water is much more limited.
Under a current “business as usual” scenario, by 2030 water demand will outstrip supply by 40%. By 2050, this fresh water deficit has the potential to put $63 trillion or 22% of global gross domestic product at risk. In response to this unsustainable trend, governments and businesses must plan and implement long-term solutions to address water scarcity and quality issues through improved water conservation, treatment, re-use and desalination facilities.