Is water the next oil?

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Garry Emmons hypothesizes that skyrocketing demand might make water, not oil, the century’s most essential resource – and that the private sector will play a key role in its delivery and treatment.

In theory, when water becomes expensive, it will be used more efficiently. "The really important point is not whether public or private providers deliver the service but the efficiency, quality, and cost-effectiveness of that service,"…

Equitable and efficient use of the world's water is becoming an ever-more urgent issue and one that inevitably will mean increased involvement for the private sector. Says American Water's Jeremy Pelczer, "On their own, or working with NGOs, or in public-private partnerships, investor-owned companies have a role to play in managing the world's water. But at the end of the day, it starts with governments implementing the correct policies, not just regarding water reform, but in matters such as poverty alleviation, environmental regulations, and so forth… The essential element is leadership from the public sector."

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