Water Industry Estimated at $509 Billion in 2011 and Expected to Grow 6% Annually

The cliche of water as blue gold is becoming increasingly relevant. Growing imbalances in global water supply and demand are well documented.

Farmington, CT, December 16, 2011 --( Global Information, Inc. (GII) presents "Water: The Ultimate Commodity and Coming Crisis of the 21st Century - Global Markets, Competitors and Opportunities: 2011-2012 Analysis and Forecasts" by Amadee & Company, Inc.

The cliche of water as blue gold is becoming increasingly relevant. Growing imbalances in global water supply and demand are well documented. The bottom line is that demand is outstripping supply. Its estimated that by 2020, based on UN population projections (and assuming current levels of supply prevail), 37% of the global population (or 2.8 billion people) will face absolute water stress (a UN definition where supply is less than 1,700 cubic meters per annum per capita).

The water industry is one of the largest in the world-estimated at more the US$509 billion in 2011. The industry is expected to grow 6% annually, with urbanization and industrialization in the BRIC countries driving growth rates 2x-3x higher than the industry.

Further, it has outperformed most other industries over the past decade in part due to strong secular growth drivers: demand for fresh water growing 2x population growth; increasing dependence on non-renewable aquifers for incremental supply; ongoing industry consolidation (in regional utilities, water treatment, and key technologies); aging infrastructure; ongoing investment in conservation; and growing recognition that water issues are a limiting factor for a range of industries, including nascent ones such as coal-to-olefins and biofuels.

Businesses and investors are often drawn in by the combination of large markets and powerful secular themes: population growth; rising water consumption per capita; aquifer depletion; increasing scarcity of supplies of fresh water; and even climate change. In practice, however, the sector encompasses a wide range of business models and end market niches, and a bottom-up approach is critical for analysis. Topical themes may not work well in practice because of political constraints or a mismatch between regional wealth distributions and water needs. In particular, persistent under-pricing of water supplies for consumers and farmers has delayed conservation efforts.

The best opportunities will be for companies with technology that has sustainable scarcity value, which enables scalable business models. Companies that sell water efficiency are of great interest, particularly efficiency solutions and related high-margin consumables that can be sold to industrial companies or agricultural applications.

As water stress becomes more visible in areas supplied by aquifers, its expected that water consumption and wastewater treatment will become a more significant cost item for industrial companies. There is also a positive aspect to this, as companies that embed water savings within a broader value proposition should be able to take share.

Hundreds of public companies, and an uncountable number of private companies, compete in the global water industry. As a result of its complex structure and numerous players, the water market is very fragmented in terms of market shares. In fact, the top 10 companies together account for only 12% of industry sales. The top 10 players in the global water market in 2010 were:

Veolia Environnement
Suez Environnement
Nestle SA
Nalco Holding Co.
ITT Corp
Coca-Cola Co
Donaldson Company

The report provides an in-depth look at the global water market in all its aspects, including:

Why demand is outstripping supply.
How supply can be increased and demand reduced.
Detailed analysis of the global water market by segment and sub-segment from 2011 to 2021.
Role of urbanization, climate change and pollution.
Key strategic issues.
Regulatory drivers.
Price and cost trends.
Political risks.
New technologies.
Investment themes.
Major opportunities.
Competitive landscape.
Top 100 global players in the water market including 2010 sales and market shares.

Additionally, profiles of 46 leading foreign and US manufacturers are given along with an analysis of 330 global, public companies water related activities. The report also includes 62 tables and 73 figures.

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