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Wastewater Happens.

SURE, IT'S A DIRTY BUSINESS, but the wastewater-treatment business could be worth billions of dollars in Latin America. A new study says that over the next five years the wastewater-treatment market could grow to as high as US$5.5 billion. That's according to CG/LA Infrastructure, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm, which has written a back-breaking 900-page report that examines the water needs of the region's top seven economies. Here's one key finding gleaned from the voluminous report: Less than 10% of industrial and municipal wastewater is even treated.

Driving the water-systems market is privatization, says CG/LA. It found, for example, more than 480 state-owned systems serving at least 100,000 people or more. Already, Argentina and Chile have begun to privatize, while the crisis in Brazil is expected to push the government to speed up the sale of state-owned systems.

"Wastewater is not very sexy, but there's a lot of money to be made," says CG/LA Managing Director Norman Anderson, who says financing such projects will be the biggest challenge.
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Author:Bustos, Sergio R.
Publication:Latin Trade
Geographic Code:0LATI
Date:May 1, 1999
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