Breakingviews

Coke’s sparkling H2O talk is a bit too fizzy

August 27, 2015

The soft-drinks giant has done more than many corporations to nurture water resources. Now CEO Muhtar Kent reckons he can hit Coke’s goal of replenishing every liter it uses five years early. But the company’s claim that it will be water neutral doesn’t yet pass the taste test.

Singapore could use a fresh approach to water

August 3, 2015

The city-state built its economic success partly on carefully managing scarce H2O and reducing reliance on foreign sources. Now Singapore wants to be self-sufficient. But with the population set to double, the quest for water independence risks becoming a distracting pipe dream.

Danaher breakup eases sting of pricey Pall deal

May 13, 2015

The $60 bln dentures-to-lasers concern is not cutting enough costs to justify its $13.8 bln pounce for the filter maker. But boss Tom Joyce’s surprise decision to voluntarily split Danaher in two dangles the prospect of better value for shareholders. The trick is to deliver.

Pure play gets new spin in filter maker M&A

May 13, 2015

Suitors may be willing to splash out $13 bln for Pall, the largest publicly traded air and water purification company. That’s punchy and cost cuts might not cover the premium. But Pall’s scarcity value, profitability and burgeoning biotech customer base make it a tempting target.

Nestlé called out for bottling, selling California water during drought

April 2, 2015

The $243 bln Swiss giant faces populist protests for bottling and selling H2O from Canada and drought-hit California. The potential harm to its reputation may not be worth the effort. It’s Nestlé’s least profitable business, and consumers might just as well drink from the tap.

California drought may find relief from Down Under

April 1, 2015

Governor Jerry Brown has ordered a 25 pct cut in water use. With reservoirs and snow caps low, it’s a wise, if belated, move. Now he needs a comprehensive plan for identifying new sources, reallocating existing ones and getting citizens to buy in. Melbourne offers a good model.

Global water woes mix with trickle of good news

March 23, 2015

The planet faces a 40 pct H2O deficit by 2030 as rising populations require more food and energy. Droughts in Sao Paulo and California may become harbingers of doom. But progress on everything from data to usage to business awareness to international agreements offers some hope.

Water woes could open taps on corporate risk

January 5, 2015

Two-thirds of the world’s biggest companies are worried about access to water. But few are well prepared for problems. That should change as ways to track and address concerns grow. And if bosses don’t take the initiative, activist investors may force them to.

Brazil’s epic water crisis a global wake-up call

November 24, 2014

Sao Paulo, a city of 20 mln, is running out of H2O thanks to creaky infrastructure, political battles, a record drought and Amazon deforestation. The humanitarian and economic cost would be immense if supplies dried up. The fiasco should drive other metropolises to action.

U.S. drought could spark economic water warfare

June 26, 2014

Scarce rains have left California and the U.S. Southwest dry just as industries from beverages to semiconductors grow concerned about the availability of H20. That presents a flood of opportunity for water tech firms and Great Lakes states like Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.