Alpheus Water Research has written a wide-ranging piece explaining why they think that water will surpass climate change as the world’s main preoccupation in future.
The article references many of the themes that i2O cites as challenges for the industry including: water scarcity, ageing infrastructure, constraints on revenue, and constraints on capital.
Alpheus argues that what makes water a global rather than a local issue is, or will be, food. Agriculture is dependent on water. Agri-business is now global.
Alpheus’ conclusion is that the water sector makes a good investment opportunity because it offers the right conditions: strong growth, innovation, and a shortage of capital. They expect the size and return of water sector investment opportunities to increase to the extent that rising needs outstrip traditional funding mechanisms i.e. tariffs and government bonds.
In the meantime, CO2 hits the headlines today with the announcement that concentrations of CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere surged to a record high in 2016, a level not seen in 800,000 years, with an increase 50% higher than the average of the past 10 years. Emissions from human sources have slowed down in the last couple of years but it remains to be seen whether we are doing enough quickly enough to avert disaster.
How soon will we be talking about water in the same way? Or will smart network solutions be adopted quickly enough to ensure that the world does enough soon enough in relation to water to keep it out of the headlines?