- January 2010 Vol. 3 No. 1

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Water Works: Demand Grows for Clean and Safe Water

by Ryan Garner

Water flows uphill toward money. That phrase was often heard in the American West during the 19th century, when opportunistic settlers headed west in search of undeveloped land, and irrigation played a major role in the cultivation of the region. Today, many investors are looking to water infrastructure as a profitable endeavor, tackling social, political and environmental challenges to meet the public demand for clean, safe water systems.

While high-quality drinking water and wastewater systems are essential to public health, business and quality of life around the world, many developing countries lack reliable water and wastewater infrastructure. Worldwide, approximately 1.1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water, according to the United Nations. The U.N. estimates that by 2030, as many as 4 billion people will not have enough water for their basic needs — sanitation, cooking and drinking.

Meanwhile, developed countries have to deal with the repair and

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