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Jun 3, 2010 / Richard Hall


Bailing out the banks was expensive enough, you might have thought, but the cost of clean water could run even deeper.

For comparison, this year’s unprecedented UK Government deficit is around £160 billion and the latest support for the entire eurozone amounted to 750 billion euros.

Now look at these figures for water.

  • An estimated 433 billion euros ($571 billion) are needed each year worldwide to maintain and improve water treatment plants and distribution networks, according to the Global Water Intelligence 2010 market report for the World Bank and OECD. This is three times current spending levels,
  • As if that weren’t enough, it would apparently take $6.5 trillion (as in 000 billion) for the US and Canada to update their water infrastructure by 2030, according to a 2007 study by Booz Allen Hamilton and reported in The Economist on 22nd May. The amount worldwide was calculated at $22.6 trillion.

Yes, $22,600,000,000,000.

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  1. Anonymous / Jun 3 2010

    Yes, this is a mind blowing figure that the world has to come to grips with. I have invested in U.S. and global water infrastructure companies starting in 2008, and guess what, I have lost money. I guess the world does not realize this fact or they do not have the money to update their systems. Now that both the private and public sectors are broke in most developed countries it is going to be interesting to see how we pay for this worldwide upgrade – Bob Lisenko

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