Market Analysis

Natural spring water has become a top global commodity and is sometimes referred to as “liquid gold”. Artesian spring water from Fiji is one of the most prestigious sources and is widely considered to have the best taste. The global bottled spring water market is projected to reach USD $280 billion by 2020, which represents a growth rate of 8.5% annually.

We have a solution to the global water crisis – this product is in critical demand and we can provide it at no risk to selected countries in need.

Our pristine artesian spring water lies in a vast underground aquifer that was formed eons ago by volcanic action on the lush, tropical island of Viti Levu, the largest of Fiji’s 332 islands. Over the centuries, rainwater falling on the mountainous interior of Viti Levu has percolated down through many layers into the aquifer, naturally filtering out impurities and picking up minerals that contribute to the smooth taste of natural spring water from Fiji.

Gillier Water is one of the largest free hold spring water land in Fiji – 27 acres. Driving through sugar cane plantations to reach our land, you hear the water bubbling up from the ground. Water flows naturally to the surface from the underground volcanic chamber and small springs are visible across the land – a visual indication of the virtually unlimited reservoir of fresh spring water that lies below the surface. It is estimated that the property will be able to provide unlimited water for over 400 years. The compound will include one of the largest water plants in the world at an estimated 42,000 square metres.

An article by Tim Smedley in the April 2017 issue of BBC Future asks “Is the world running out of fresh water?” and then goes on to describe the global fresh water crisis. Water demand globally is projected to increase by 55% between 2000 and 2050. According to a NASA study, many of the world’s fresh water sources are being drained faster than they can be replenished. In fact, 21 of the world’s 37 largest aquifers (sand and gravel filled underground reservoirs) are receding and the water table is dropping all around the world.

In stark contrast to the abundant fresh water we own in Fiji, many countries around the world face critical water shortages. According to the UN, over 783 million people do not have access to potable water today. The Water Project reports that safe water is scarce for over 1 billion people around the world and it is estimated that approximately 1.8 billion people will be affected by water shortages by 2025.

Mexico City, which was built on ancient lake beds, is sinking at a rate of 9 inches per year in some areas, as the city draws down its underground water. This is causing once-straight streets to undulate. About 20% of Mexico City’s 21 million residents get water out of their taps for only a few hours per week. Mexico City is over 2000 metres above sea level and the aging water system struggles with the demand of its residents. In fact, almost 1000 litres of water per second is lost due to leaks.

In the US, the state of California recently experienced its worse drought in hundreds of years. Its major aquifers receded at a rate of 16 million acre-feet per year and almost 2000 wells ran dry. It is estimated that it will take about 4 years of above average rainfall to replenish the aquifers.

India, China, Japan, the Middle East, Brazil and Africa are key regions experiencing water shortages. India has 16% of the global population but only 4% of the world’s fresh water. Half of India’s rural water supply is routinely contaminated with toxic bacteria; about 600,000 Indian children die each year due to illnesses associated with unclean drinking water. Even bottled water is not safe – a 2015 government test showed that 31% of bottled water was contaminated. Much of the bottled water sold in India is drawn from groundwater that contains cancer-causing heavy metals.

China has serious water shortage issues caused by severe water pollution and an increasing population. An estimated 300 million people have no access to clean drinking water; 90% of the underground water and 70% of the rivers and lakes in China are polluted. Water pollution comes from sewage as well as chemicals from industry and manufacturing. 400 out of 600 cities in China are affected, including 30 of the 32 largest cities in the country.

Japan has experienced increased fluctuation in rainfall over the past 30 years, which has contributed to the decline in water supply stability.These shortages, along with increased consumer demand for safe and good tasting drinking water, has led to increased demand for imported bottled water. A survey showed that over 70% of respondents do not feel that Japanese tap water can be drunk safely or that Japanese tap water does not taste good. The 2011 tsunami and subsequent destruction of the Fukushima nuclear power plant led people to drink more bottled water. The amount of contaminated radioactive water that is being held in storage at the power plant is still growing by 150 tons per day according to an article published by ABC news earlier this year, and many people in the country are very worried about radioactive leaks that would affect the oceans and groundwater.

Countries in the Middle East make up about 5% of the world’s population but have only 1% of the earth’s renewable water resources. Water scarcity is made worse by climate change, misuse of water resources, and disagreements between countries that claim the same water resources. Even the UAE is experiencing water shortages. A report from Emirates Industrial Bank indicates that the UAE has the highest per capita consumption of water in the world and the water table has dropped 1 meter per year for the last 30 years, which is not sustainable. If more groundwater is extracted than is naturally recharged, it could lead to saltwater intrusion into aquifers that are located near seas, which further depletes the scarce natural resource.

Rainfall in Brazil has decreased over the last 30 years; this fact, along with increasing temperatures, an increased need for agricultural irrigation and increased evaporation, has led to severe water shortages in over 850 Brazilian cities. Many reservoirs in Brazil are at less than 5% of their capacity. When water levels are that low, the remaining water is often dirty, smelly and undrinkable. Tap water is rationed and the need for bottled water increases.

Of the approximately 783 million people in the world who do not have access to clean water on a daily basis, about 40% of them live in Africa. That equates to an astounding 319 million people. 80% of the illnesses in developing countries are due to waterborne illnesses or lack of sanitation. Africa is an arid continent. 30% of the continent’s water is located in the Congo River basin, but only 10% of the population lives in the area and there is no money to build infrastructure to move the water to the populated areas. Most people rely on surface water such as lakes and rivers, but virtually all of them are polluted or in some way contaminated. Few people have pipes with running water, more people have access to a public tap that may not provide clean water, and millions of people must walk far from their homes to carry water in buckets from a watering hole.

Located in the Southeastern part of Asia, Vietnam’s population totals to over 86 million with an estimated GDP per capita of $3100. Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world and almost two-thirds of its people live along the country’s three main river basins- Thai Binh, Mekong Delta and Dong Nai.

Vietnam has 2360 rivers totaling to more than 10 km and it would appear that this should provide copious supply of water to the nation. However, due to the lack of physical infrastructure and financial capacity there is low utilization of the supply along with an uneven distribution of rain fall resulting in water shortages throughout the country. Although Vietnam has improved its water supply situation in the past few decades, many rural parts of the country who are often the poorest communities, have not seen significant improvement. It is reported that only 39% of the rural population has access to safe water and sanitation. The rural population has moved from using surface water from shallow dug wells to groundwater pumped from private tube wells. In the Northern region of Vietnam around Hanoi, there is evidence of arsenic contamination in the drinking water. About 7 million people living in this area have a severe risk of arsenic poisoning and since elevated levels of arsenic can cause cancer, neurological and skin problems, this is a serious issue.

In addition, due to the rapid economic development in Vietnam, river water quality has been affected along with an increased concentration of various toxins in the water. The surface water in the rivers is locally polluted by organic pollutants such as oil waste and solids. There is also pollution from untreated waste water released by industries and agriculture activities. The geography and topography of Vietnam also makes the country susceptible to natural hazards such as typhoons, storms, floods and drought. This then leads to a multitude of problems such as water pollution and waterborne diseases along with an impact on agricultural lands and livestock. Both the environmental pollution in these river basins and natural disasters affects the nation’s public health. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment state that almost 80% of the diseases in Vietnam are caused by polluted water. There are many cases of cholera, typhoid, dysentery and malaria each year in the country.

It is without doubt that agriculture has the largest burden on water resources in Vietnam. Vietnam is one of the richest agricultural regions in the world and a top producer and consumer of rice. Currently, water used for agriculture purposes take up over 80% of total water production. Paddy rice is the primary crop that takes up a majority of the total irrigated area. Fisheries, aquaculture, industries and services also contribute to water demand increase.

Water resources are very significant, especially natural water sources in the rural areas of Vietnam as they are the sources of economic, social and cultural activities. The government of Vietnam is tackling the water resources management issues in the country by implementing policies and programs relating to this. Some of the challenges that still exist include improving access to clean water and sanitation for both urban and rural population, improving public participation and knowledge and strengthening river basin management.