Currently, one third of the countries around the world are experiencing water shortages. In the United States, fresh water seems to be easily accessible for immediate use and consumption. However, the importance of fresh water sanitation was demonstrated during the Flint, Michigan water crisis, which showed that the even developed countries such as America can experience fresh water problems due to a lack of reliable fresh water infrastructure. Other examples of freshwater crisis within the United States include the California drought that occurred from 2011 to 2017.
This report identified future freshwater problems within the United States including aging infrastructure, water scarcity and drought. Specifically, the report looked into emerging water technology and U.S. fresh water infrastructure. Multiple international case studies that serve as excellent examples to freshwater investment were identified and explored. Lastly, fresh water markets were discussed as possible future solutions to problems within the United States.
Based on the team’s research, the team identified two most promising areas for potential investors in the current investment climate: water pipe replacement in the US, and urban water infrastructure in China, both accessible for private investors through PPPs. The former area of investment has a total of $3.8 trillion capital needs, and the existing federal and state funding programs can hardly meet the requirement. While the latter area offers higher potential returns, it requires the involvement of reliable local partners, and foreign investors may find themselves in choppy waters when faced with the uncertainty in China’s regulatory environment.