Water investment report says water prices too low

Artificially low prices of water are preventing investment in technologies to improve infrastructure and provide fresh water to people, according to a report published on Thursday.

Sustainable investment research firm Progressive Investor said that there is impending water crisis in its "Investing in Water" report.

Fresh water supplies are being stressed because of population growth, industry and agriculture and climate change, the report said. In addition, $1 trillion is needed to upgrade the worldwide infrastructure of distributing freshwater.

There are available technologies to clean or desalinate water but utilities can't afford to invest in them or upgrade infrastructure because water prices are subsidized at "absurdly low" rates.

The report notes, however, that there is growing awareness or water issues which will mean steady investments by utilities

"A few niche segments are experiencing rapid growth," said Rona Fried, CEO of Progressive Investor. "Ultraviolet radiation and membrane filtration are growing 15% a year, as they replace chlorine for disinfection. Metering and monitoring are strong growth areas, as is desalination."

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About the author

Martin LaMonica is a senior writer covering green tech and cutting-edge technologies. He joined CNET in 2002 to cover enterprise IT and Web development and was previously executive editor of IT publication InfoWorld.


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