Monday, October 16, 2006

Water Stocks Are Hot

Barron's (subscription):
WALL STREET IS PUMPED ABOUT WATER, and for good reason. Globally, the $365 billion business is burgeoning as countries spend billions to repair and build infrastructure to funnel clean water to people and industry. Some experts think $1.5 trillion in capital spending could flow into the sector in the next five years, promising a steady stream of business for a host of companies, from pump makers to water utilities. The market, which encompasses residential and industrial water and wastewater treatment and services, is growing by 4% to 6% a year in developed countries, and as much as 15% in emerging markets, estimates Goldman Sachs.

Less than 1% of the planet's water is drinkable. Yet, demand has been rising steadily. A Unesco study estimates world consumption could reach 2,764 billion cubic kilometers by 2025, up from 2,182 billion in 2000.