How To Profit From Water Scarcity

Fundamentals:

According to the UN, by 2025 1.8 Billion people will be living in regions of absolute water scarcity and two thirds of the population could be living under stress conditions. Water usage has been growing at more than twice the rate of population growth in the last century. This is a trend that cannot continue for much longer.

70% of the total freshwater usage is consumed by agriculture, 19% by industry and 11% by domestic usage (FAO 2010). In developing countries where agriculture is the lifeblood of the economy, agriculture can account for up to 90% of fresh water withdrawals. The world’s population is forecasted to grow to 9.3 billion people by 2050. This requires a massive increase in agricultural production which will have the flow on effect of increased water usage. Whilst the developed world has implemented strategies to curb water waste and increase efficiency, the developing world to a great degree has not adopted any such measures.

Data obtained by FAO AQUASTAT shows that global fresh water withdrawals between 1987 and 2000 increased by 1% per year. This trend is expected to continue in developing nations. There has been a slight decrease in withdrawals within developed countries due to technological advances and increased efficiency.

Energy requirements:

Energy is required for the pumping and treatment of water. The amount of energy required for pumping varies due to elevation or depth of ground water, distance and other geological factors. In the wastewater treatment process, the amount of energy required varies due to the source of the water and different levels of treatment are required depending on the different uses needed for the water. Water required for drinking needs a higher level of treatment compared with water required for agricultural uses.

Water scarcity has four main influencing factors:

*The first as already mentioned is the massive growth in the world’s population.

*The second is the increasing urbanization of the global population. Water will need to be provided to an ever more centralized citizenry.

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Joe Economy 6 years ago Member's comment

Nice article, thanks. It would seem fair to say that the world's demand for water is "insatiable" and ever growing. How well do these water stocks old up during an economic downturn I wonder. Can they be considered safe haven investments? Eventually, developing countries will become so effective at reverse osmosis that they will be able to be completely self sufficient but I think stocks that invest in helping manage limited water supplies should be good long term investment provided the countries they operate in are not in active war zones.