Warning: Declaration of action_plugin_safefnrecode::register(Doku_Event_Handler &$controller) should be compatible with DokuWiki_Action_Plugin::register($controller) in /home/public/dw/lib/plugins/safefnrecode/action.php on line 14

Warning: Declaration of action_plugin_blog::register(&$contr) should be compatible with DokuWiki_Action_Plugin::register($controller) in /home/public/dw/lib/plugins/blog/action.php on line 0

Warning: Declaration of action_plugin_blockquote::register(&$controller) should be compatible with DokuWiki_Action_Plugin::register($controller) in /home/public/dw/lib/plugins/blockquote/action.php on line 0

Warning: Declaration of action_plugin_include::register(&$controller) should be compatible with DokuWiki_Action_Plugin::register($controller) in /home/public/dw/lib/plugins/include/action.php on line 0

Warning: Declaration of action_plugin_popularity::register(&$controller) should be compatible with DokuWiki_Action_Plugin::register($controller) in /home/public/dw/lib/plugins/popularity/action.php on line 0

Warning: Declaration of action_plugin_redirect::register(&$controller) should be compatible with DokuWiki_Action_Plugin::register($controller) in /home/public/dw/lib/plugins/redirect/action.php on line 0

Warning: Declaration of action_plugin_captcha::register(&$controller) should be compatible with DokuWiki_Action_Plugin::register($controller) in /home/public/dw/lib/plugins/captcha/action.php on line 0

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: Declaration of Doku_Renderer_metadata::table_open($maxcols = NULL, $numrows = NULL) should be compatible with Doku_Renderer::table_open($maxcols = NULL, $numrows = NULL, $pos = NULL) in /home/public/dw/inc/parser/metadata.php on line 24

Warning: Declaration of Doku_Renderer_metadata::table_close() should be compatible with Doku_Renderer::table_close($pos = NULL) in /home/public/dw/inc/parser/metadata.php on line 24
First thoughts on water investing [ClearOnMoney]
Top

Site

About
Contact

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656
Sitemap

Profile

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656
Trace:
First thoughts on water investing

Reference

Main
Updates
Schedule

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656

Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/public/dw/inc/auth.php on line 656
Commentary

First thoughts on water investing

30 Dec 2012 by Jim Fickett.

Clean water is an absolutely necessary resource, and also one that is in increasingly short supply. This is a problem for the species and an opportunity for investing. But how to invest? Without, admittedly, more than a few days browsing with Google, below are some first thoughts, more to guide further research than anything else. I'd appreciate any feedback.

Probably bad ideas:

  • An index or ETF with “water” in the name. Such aggregations may be rather like the forestry ETFs, which have very little to do with investing in timber. For example, the largest constituent of the S&P Global Water Index is Pentair, which makes swimming pool equipment. Sure, swimming pools contain water. But investing in solutions to water scarcity is rather weakly related to making your swimming pool more fun (which Pentair promises to do).
  • Water rights. The most obvious way to invest in a resource is to own it directly, which is why I own a gas company with rich reserves and resources, and would like to own some forest. There are funds that invest in water rights directly, or in land with water on or under it. I am very hesitant about this approach, because most people in most countries feel very strongly that water is a public resource and access to water is a public right. As clean water becomes scarcer, I think regulation is likely to become more complex and less favorable to private owners. My own well someday? I hope so. Owning water rights in the face of complex regulatory and legal challenges? I'd rather not.
  • Leading edge technology companies that develop and sell equipment for cleaning/purifying/desalinating water. Investing in such companies seems attractive, and maybe it is. But my first impression looking around is that this area of investing is extremely fashionable (everyone wants in on the next big thing) and the obvious options are overpriced. I hope I'm wrong.

Possibly more hopeful ideas:

  • European water utilities. Utilities will continue, in the long run, to provide a solid, if somewhat boring, return. The share prices of some European utilities have fallen to a small fraction of former values. Perhaps there is a good reason for this, or perhaps it is a temporary effect of the crisis, say the loss of excessive subsidies as governments cut back. Perhaps an opportunity.
  • Conservation, especially in irrigation. Most of the water taken by the human species from the environment and managed in some artificial way is used for farming. The total amount of water harvested in the US stopped rising in about 1985 and, as water used by cities has increased, water used for irrigation has declined. Farmers are having to make better use of irrigation water, and companies that make equipment for more efficient irrigation will benefit. Other areas of conservation may also be interesting – for example, many cities are retrofitting their distribution systems to reduce leaks.
  • Water reuse. As the population increases, the distance from one person's wastewater effluent to someone else's well continues to decrease. There is a great deal of de facto reuse; for example about half the flow in the river from Dallas/Fort Worth to Houston, which Houston uses for drinking water, is wastewater effluent from Dallas/Fort Worth. Increasingly, reuse happens also by design; to take one example, some cities are deliberately recharging aquifers using wastewater. I suspect systematic monitoring will rise for household chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and other impurities that have heretofore been of relatively little concern, and companies that make such monitoring equipment will benefit.
  • Water consulting. The technology for monitoring and cleaning water is becoming ever more complex. Laws and regulations are too. I suspect public and private water projects will need ever more expert help in both design and execution. If consulting firms are not already overpriced, the dependable revenue stream could be attractive.

Acknowledgement

I'm grateful to Barry Hillman for pointing out to me the growing importance of water reuse.