Earlier this year, some UK water companies claimed it would take six months of solid rain to replenish reservoirs much depleted by two dry winters. Looking back on these statements after another wet summer, they now seem more prophetic than throw away.
Safe to say, this year we have experienced a very wet type of drought. Here in the UK we are getting more water than we want during our summers. Yet people in other parts of the world are experiencing far more extreme types of weather, causing severe droughts and floods.
United Nations Water Report
The United Nations Water Report (2012) highlighted two major challenges for the future:
- Water is one of our most precious commodities, yet we continue to squander it.- The global demand for water in the agricultural sector is forecast to rise by 20% over the next 40 years; a huge rise for a sector already consuming more than two-thirds of the world’s usable water.
- The world currently recycles just 20% of its used water. This is an unsustainably low level if supply is to meet future demand, so improving on this is now seen as a priority worldwide. The waste water treatment market, for example, is expected to grow by 40% over the next four years alone.
Private companies currently account for just 8% of the global water services market, and this is expected to rise to 21% over the next decade. At Pictet, taken together, we believe there is mounting evidence to suggest that now may be a good time to invest in the water theme.