The Friday financial trivia quiz – water edition

Every Friday, we challenge our readers with financial trivia questions drawn from the international/offshore world…

This week, as we have begun to run dry (pun intended) of trivia questions of a purely financial nature, we have decided to focus on the vast and growing, investible business of producing clean water, shortages of which are already a problem in many parts of the world.

This shortage is presenting vast opportunities to those in the business of water filtration, desalination, transport, bottling and storage – as many investors are already well aware.

To see the answers, go to page 2. To suggest questions, email iieditorial

1. The competitive sport of “pipe tapping”, (or “drilling and tapping” as it’s called in the UK), began in the 1990s, and pits teams of water utility workers against one another. (See photo, provided by the American Water Works Association.) There are men’s and women’s teams (some with names like the Lansing Lethal Ladies and the (Cincinnati) Ductile Iron Divas), and even teams comprised of water utility executives rather than just field experts.

Pipe tapping has become huge in the US water treatment industry, and has an increasingly loyal following in the UK as well. It’s also popular in another country. That country is:

a.) Australia
b.) Canada
c.) the Netherlands
d.) Germany

2. Which country gets the largest percentage of its water from desalination?

a.) Australia
b.) Israel
c.) the United Arab Emirates
d.) Saudi Arabia

3.  What percent of the Earth’s total water supply is readily accessible for drinking?

a.) ~20%
b.) ~80%
c.) ~5%
d.) Less than 1%

The following three questions were provided by Hubert Aarts, manager of the BNP Paribas Equity World Aqua Fund:

4. How much water does it take to brew a pint of beer?

a.)  Approx 1/2 gallon  
b.) Approx  1 gallon  
c.) Approx 10 gallons  
d.) Approx 20 gallons

5. How much water does it take to make 2 litres of soda?

a.) As much as 11 gallons
b.) As much as 25 gallons
c.) As much as 76 gallons
d.) As much as 132 gallons

6. How much water does it take to make a pair of stone-washed jeans (including the water needed to grow the cotton, dye it, and process it to the desired degree of stone-washed perfection):

a.) Around 25 gallons
b.) Around 150 gallons
c.) Around 300 gallons
d.) Around 500 gallons

7. In 2004, a well-known multi-national company introduced a brand of bottled water into the UK market, which had become a best-seller in the US, but it ran into problems after British press reports that it was “just” purified tap water from Sidcup, in Southeast London, and then, after traces of bromate were found in it, and a recall of certain batches was required. The company withdrew the brand, which some wags had christened “eau de Sidcup”, and it has never attempted to re-introduce it since.

Which company was it?

a.) Cadbury Schweppes
b.) Coca-Cola
c.) Pepsico
d.) Nestlé Group

Bonus question: What was the brand of the bottled water?

8. Which country has an estimated 20% of the world’s fresh water?

a.) Canada
b.) Russia
c.) Brazil
d.) the US

9. What proportion of the world’s lakes are found in Canada?
a.) 15%
c.) 50%
d.) 70%

10. What stops mass exports of water from Canada to other NAFTA members?

a.) It must be in a condition definable as “good” to be exportable, rather than in a natural state
b.) Water cannot be defined as ‘made in Canada’, so it fails to fall under the necessary regulations
c.) Water rights are generally defined by Canada’s individual provinces, rather than belonging to so-called Federal Crown Corporations
d.) For now at least, mass exports of water would be uneconomical


To see the answers to this quiz, go to page 2.


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