Private water suppliers poised to grow as demand set to surge
Private companies are poised for a surge in demand to take over water supplies, despite widespread opposition to privatisation of what is seen as a life-giving public service.
Global Water Intelligence analysts expect the water supply market to grow about 20% in the next five years, and demand is especially strong in North Africa, the Middle East and China, GWI's publisher Christopher Gasson told the Guardian.
Another big growth area is likely to be the US, where "hundreds" of public water authorities thought to be talking to private operators, said Dan McCarthy, president and CEO of the global water division of engineering group Black & Veatch.
Renewed growth is being driven by poor services and the need for huge investment to repair and expand supplies, which in a recession is even harder for governments and municipal authorities to fund, said Gasson. It is also encouraged by less historical opposition to private suppliers in much of the big-growth regions, and the continuing "marketisation" of China, he said.
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