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Global demand for water to outstrip supply by 2030, report warns

May 15, 2014
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water crisis in Gaza <photocredit>Warrick Page/Getty Images Europe/Thinkstock</photocredit>

By 2030, global demand for water is projected to outstrip supply by as much as 40 percent, which would lead to dramatic political and sociological developments, according to a new report by Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research. By 2050, up to 50 nations are predicted to be involved in water conflicts, the analysis warned.

With this grim picture in mind, governments globally and private corporations are being urged to invest in water reuse technologies, the report said. Unless the world is prepared, the "perfect storm" about to hit water resources may have devastating consequences, putting up to 45 percent of projected GDP at risk.

At present, 768 million people around the world have no access to clean drinking water and approximately 2.5 billion lack proper sanitation, the report pointed out. Part of the problem also lies in the fact that water is extremely unevenly distributed globally. More than half of the world's water resources are concentrated in 10 countries: the Unites States, China, Brazil, Russia, Canada, Colombia, Indonesia, Peru, India and Congo.

According to Sarbjit Nahal, an equity strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research, the problem also presents opportunities for investors and for water technology businesses. Currently, global water-related industries represent a market worth approximately $500 billion but that figure could double to about $1 trillion by the end of this decade.

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