NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- As California faces an unprecedented drought and water shortages crop up around the world, Heiner Markhoff, the president and CEO of General Electric's (GE) water and process technologies division, said technology can address scarcities of this crucial resource.
Among the hurdles to the implementation of tech solutions like wastewater recycling and desalination are cultural and social acceptance and the political will and determination to make things happen, he said.
Politicians need to invest in infrastructure to address the situation, Markhoff added, asserting that technology is available to safely and economically treat and reuse wastewater reuse.
In California, where the drought threatens the state's economic growth, a number of plants use GE technology but even more of an investment in wastewater treatment plants should be made, Markhoff said. The infrastructure should be expanded to increase the capacity for water reuse in California, he added.
Investment options could include public-private partnerships or public utility bonds, Markhoff said, adding that one use for recycled wastewater could be in the energy industry. Of all the industrial uses of water, 60% of it goes for power generation.
With GE's shedding of GE Capital, its industrial divisions now become the growth drivers for the company, Markhoff said.
"Looking at the alignment [between] what we do with what the world needs, I think we are very well-positioned," Markhoff said of his unit, adding that about 55% of its business is outside the U.S.TheStreet Ratings team rates General Electric Co. as a hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about its recommendation:
"We rate GENERAL ELECTRIC CO (GE) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity."
You can view the full analysis from the report here: GE Ratings Report