Water is an elixir for life but also for textile production

Water is an elixir for life but also for textile production

Swiss Bank J. Safra Sarasin’s research arm has just released an interesting feature on water, a commodity that has to be treated with carePortrait of author because it is a very needed resource also for the production of textiles. We are very pleased to let you have the major findings of the bank and its author Viara Nedeva Thompson Sustainable Investment Analyst for the Water Investment Theme. The feature is written in view to financial investment, but it entails important data on water and its use. We add for you also some additional data from the Water Market Report by Global Water Intelligence and draw your attention to the World Bank’s ample data source on water

Aging infrastructure is a chronic problem On May 25, 2016, a water pipe leak in Flor ence, Italy, caused the road along the Arno River near Ponte Vecchio to collapse, creat- ing a 200m long ditch full  of  parked  cars  and water. Fortunately, no one was hurt and the only people who remember the accident are the residents of Florence whose water supply was cut, and the equity analysts who have been seeing the tremendous invest- ment opportunities in the Italian water sec- tor for years. Indeed, aging water infrastructure is a chronic problem across most European and North American cities. The reason  is simple – investments in water infrastruc- ture need to be compensated by higher water tariffs, which is a politically difficult   step.

The glass is half full

If raising water prices is a problem in the developed world, then one can imagine just how sensitive the issue is in the developing world. According to Global Water Intelligence (GWI), India and the Middle East have some of the lowest water tariffs in the world, despite being generally water scarce regions where a lot of investment is needed. Thus, though there are plenty of opportunities for water investment, very few have been realised because water users are reluctant to  pay a price corresponding to the value they receive. Several factors are changing this gridlock:

1)            Distress: Extreme droughts (such as those in California and Brazil) and inci- dents that harm human life (such  as  the  lead contamination of water in Flint, Michigan) lead to public acceptance that clean water does not come for free.

2)            Economics: Industry accounts for 20% of freshwater withdrawals globally and over 50% in the developed world. Industrial clients are driven by economic considerations and their water needs are growing due to expansion in water-stressed regions and the necessity to use “difficult” saline or brackish water. The industrial water market  is  expected  to  grow  annually  by  8 % from USD 20 billion in 2016 to over USD 27billion in 2020 according to the GWI.

Graph 1

3)            Tighter regulation and stricter enforcement: Regulation of wastewater treatment and reuse is becoming more stringent as competition for freshwater resources between the three main user groups intensifies. Specifically, China has pushed forward with its war on air and water pollution de- spite its economic slowdown. In the  West, the implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention will require the treatment of ballast water in over 60000 ships  until  2020.

“Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.” Coleridge The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

In summary, a successful investor in the  water sector needs to understand how long- term growth drivers work alongside the short-term industry-specific and business cycle dynamics to influence corporate earn- ings quarter after quarter. After all, the investment performance of any thematic portfolio reflects both long-term trends and solid industry and equity  analysis.

The ebbs and flows of water investing

Graph 2

The Water Investment Theme captures investment opportunities along the full water value chain from treatment, infrastructure and supply to efficient  use.

The Water Treatment investment theme includes companies in the water analysis, filter technology and  chemicals  industries.  The companies of the Water Infrastructure theme are suppliers of pipes, pumps, plumbing and related products and engineering and construction firms, which work with utilities involved in Water Supply and wastewater treatment. Lastly, the theme of Efficient Use of Water includes companies from a host of industries, which help their clients save water, such as precision agriculture equipment supplier Lindsay or water heater company A.O. Smith.

According to GWI, the water market will reach USD 256 billion in 2016 and grow to USD 319 billion by 2020. In order to benefit  from this growth, Water investment portfolios should contain only companies with a certain water revenue exposure. The bank is estimating that the water exposure of the companies in the water fund is on average 56 % while the water exposure of the MSCI World Index is less than 1 %. Even, when we consider only  the water companies from the index, the exposure amounts only to 16 %. We believe that a focused and actively managed portfolio can help investors take advantage of the growth in the water sector while at the same time fostering sustainable development in  the broader economy.”

Graph 3

Bank J. Safra Sarasin’s Water Investment Theme helps investors to benefit from increasing competition for scarce freshwater resources and stricter regulation of wastewater treatment while providing solutions for a sustainable future.


Worth Reading in this water context

Water Market 2017 by Global Water Intelligence

In this water context, TextileFuture draws your attention to the fact that Global Water Intelligence has published the commercially available Global Water Market 2017, the most complete survey of the opportunities and activities in the international water sector ever attempted.

Global Water Market 2017 goes beyond the geographic focus of previous editions of GWI’s bestselling information resource to create a detailed matrix of market analysis by technology, by end user, by business model and by product type.  Furthermore, the report maps out the participants in each market space, to create the ultimate business development tool.

This report covers every angle of the global water sector, including coverage of major markets, key companies as well as the popular country profiles. Whether you are looking to build or buy your way into a new market, Global Water Market 2017 answers all of your most important questions:

    – How big is the market?waterdroplet2

    – How fast is it growing?

    – What do customers need?

    – What are the trends?

    – Who are the competitors?

    – What are they doing?

This report is an essential handbook for any company that needs a complete view of the global water sector, helping you plan your next move:

Budgeting: what can you expect from your business next year? Global Water Markets 2017 provides informed third party validation of how your core markets are developing. It is an essential resource for any executive involved in setting targets, allocating resources and planning investment.

Building: what are the best markets to target for growth? Global Water Market 2017 is like a travel guide for water industry executives looking to move into new markets. It tells you what it is like, how it works and who you will meet there. Growing without it can be painful or dangerous. 

Buying: what is the case for an acquisition? The 2017 edition of GWI’s Global Water Markets report introduces detailed information on the market position of more than 500 businesses in the water sector. That makes it a shopping list of acquisitive companies and an essential due diligence resource.

Key Features

  • Global and country-by-country forecasts from 2014 to 2020 – Forecasts of capital and operating expenditure for the utility and industrial sectors, broken down by application, technology and equipment to help understand the size of the market for your solution or service
  • 32 In-depth country chapters – Featuring analysis of the regional opportunities, explanation of market dynamics, current and future projects, major market participants and a brand new industrial water section, giving you the tools you need to identify the best markets to target for growth and to plan your strategy for entering, or expanding your presence in, those regions.
  • 68 Country trend reports – includes historical data and spending forecasts in a visually accessible format to help you assess the direction of your target market.
  • Companies & Markets – In addition to the geographical coverage, Global Water Market 2017 now includes expansive data and analysis of key global markets including engineering and contracting, water and wastewater treatment, networks and infrastructure equipment and industrial water, so you have a complete picture of the current and emerging opportunities in each sector. All of the major key players in each market are featured, giving you all the information you need to establish the size and shape of the market.

Companies and Markets

Over the first three editions Global Water Market has established itself as the key reference work on the industry. It is used by more than 50% of the top 100 global water companies, and it has become the must-have resource for bankers and consultants advising on deals in the water sector. The new edition introduces an unprecedented level of granularity to the data and analysis, enabling users to drill down to the information they need with precision.

IWRM and sub-sectors

Key Areas Covered:

  • Technologies and Equipment – Focusing on five key technology areas, Global Water Market 2017 will provide in-depth market analysis of oil/water separation, suspended solids removal, dissolved solids removal, biological treatment and disinfection/oxidation. This report will show you what is driving global spending on water and wastewater treatment technologies in the municipal sector and in 8 of the most water-intensive industrial markets, the main challenges influencing each industry and who the key players in each technology market are
  • Smart Water Networks – Water scarcity, leak detection and network efficiency are the main factors driving the implementation of smart water solutions across the globe. This report will analyse how and where smart water technologies are being used by water utilities worldwide. Get exclusive insight into the biggest players in the market, identify existing prospects for your smart solution and pinpoint opportunities to develop your product and partner with other ‘smart’ businesses
  • Water treatment chemicals – Increased freshwater scarcity is pushing industrial and municipal sectors to treat wastewater for reuse. Global Water Market 2017 will identify which chemical types are needed for water treatment in the industrial and municipal markets. Featuring the top 20 chemical suppliers as well as a forecast breakdown of the chemical market, you will have the chance to identify which sector provides the biggest opportunities and demands for your chemical solutions
  • Engineering and systems integration – Global Water Market 2017 will explore different contracting models, quality control and risk management, bid scoring and approaches to prequalification, giving you insight into how companies win contracts, what market trends there are in relation to contracting and who the top 50 engineering and EPC contractors  active the water market are. Understand how water equipment suppliers get their products incorporated into project plans and devise your strategy for involvement
  • Industrial water markets – In-depth analysis of challenges and opportunities within key industrial water markers: upstream oil & gas, mining, refining & petrochemicals, power generation, microelectronics, pharmaceutical, food & beverage and pulp & paper. This report provides detailed information on major water challenges faced by industrial water users, the technologies that can solve those problems and the regulations that are driving investment in the industrial water market so you can efficiently plan your next market entry strategy
  • Opportunities for private investment – The market for private sector participation in the water sector is on the verge of significant change, creating prospects for investors and water service companies.  Identify the key markets with the most opportunities for private investment, understand the global outlook for PPP projects, emerging investment trends and operation contract models and find out why the greatest demand for private expertise is in more limited service offerings.
  • Outsourcing and services – With outsourcing becoming an attractive proposition for water users, GWM 2017 analyses the different services and contract models that are creating opportunities for operators and full-solution providers.  We evaluate operation and maintenance contracts, mobile water and water services for the oil and gas industry, so you can understand what is driving end-users to adopt BOT/BOO and DBO/O&M agreements and identify the major trends behind water services demands.

Country Chapters

Global Water Market 2017 explains and analyses the market structure and dynamics of the water sector in the 32 most rapidly growing markets.water-resources-Pakistan Each in-depth country chapter provides all the information you need to do business in your target market and to give you the competitive edge, including vital insight into government policies, current and future projects, market participants, supply chain analysis and forecasts.

This report will include a visual representation of data with maps, tables and icons that act as a reference tool, so you can immediately identify the information that is most pertinent to your business.

For each of the 32 country profiles, the report will cover:

  1. Top market opportunities: Water sector structure and regulation – regulatory structures, funding organizations and regulations covering only the most relevant information 
  2. Water resources and overall water risk
  3. Utility sector strategies, investment planning and infrastructure
  4. Analysis on utility funding
  5. Procurement models used in each country
  6. Private sector participation
  7. Current and future key projects
  8. Industrial water market – identify the opportunities and trends in each country’s industrial water sectors
  9. Market participants
  10. Future market direction
  11. Market forecast

32 Country profiles covering:






Russian Federation



Saudi Arabia






South Africa






United Arab Emirates



United Kingdom



United States







Country Trend Reports

Global Water Market 2017 includes concise trend reports covering 68 countries that are designed to show the most critical data about the utility sector in each country. These snapshots present visually accessible data about trends in utility service coverage so you can easily get a picture of the current state of the water market, and a forecast of utility and industrial spending, enabling you to quickly evaluate the market potential for your product or service.

68 Country trend reports covering:














Hong Kong 













South Korea 



Sri Lanka 




Costa Rica 



Côte d’Ivoire 









Czech Republic 


Trinidad and Tobago 




Dominican Republic 






El Salvador

New Zealand 












Global Water Market 2017 includes four datasets available to download with the report in a spreadsheet format. These include:


  • Indicators of water and wastewater service coverage in each country
  • Desalination, reuse and PPP projects tracked by GWI
  • The latest edition of GWI’s global water tariff survey, published in September 2015
  • Forecast of utility and industrial capital expenditure and forecast of utility and industrial operation expenditure




World Bank Data

TextileFuture wishes also to draw your attention to the latest World Bank Data (2015-16) on Fresh Water use by soure, it can be accessed here with country data and sector use of water


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