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Remaining drops: freshwater resources: a global issue

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This report, targeted at the financial sector, outlines key trends in water use and availability, describes new water-related risks and identifies strategies for the financial community to assess investment opportunities and dangers in order to reduce investment risk. The report indicates that:water resource issues will be important factors affecting corporate performance for specific industry sectors and companies in coming yearswater availability and quality will be an increasingly significant driver of national/regional competitive advantage and growth in coming yearswater-related equipment, systems and management services will offer investment opportunities in some regions, with varying degrees of risks and returnsmajor regions at risk of severe water-supply problems in the coming decade include parts of the Asian subcontinent, such as northern China and parts of Indiawhile the trend toward privatisation of water utilities will continue to take place, especially in Asia, full privatisation is a risky strategythe entry of major multinational corporations such as General Electric, Siemens and 3M into water services and related technology areas will continue to drive consolidation in this fieldcorporate water use will be subject to increasing public scrutiny and, sometimes, criticism. This has already affected several major multinational corporations, leading to losses of tens of millions of dollars and massive damage to brand reputationin most areas, the water-related risks of global climate changes are currently modest, but these risks are growing and are likely to be substantial in some regions and for some industrial sectors.