Water ETFs Everywhere

The world’s safe water supply is a concern to many individuals, groups, nations, and continents. As well it should be. According to the World Health Organization, 663 million people on earth lack access to safe water. The World Economic Forum claims that the water crisis is the #1 global risk, based on its impact to society. Therefore, investment in water resources and infrastructure not only makes good sense, but also is vital and necessary.

Everything in economics usually comes down to supply and demand. The demand for clean and safe water outstrips the supply. However, if there were ever an ETF category where supply outstripped demand, it would have to be water ETFs. The law of supply and demand regarding investment vehicles is at odds with the supply and demand of the underlying resource.

I bring this up because a new water ETF was listed for trading in the U.S. today. The Tortoise Water Fund (TBLU) “provides access to the water infrastructure, management and treatment companies that appear poised to benefit from the expected and much needed investment in rebuilding existing infrastructure, constructing new infrastructure and better managing this vital, but finite resource.”

On the surface, this sounds like a good idea for a new ETF. However, you might not be aware that there is already a water ETF available to U.S. investors. In fact, there are now six of them listed on U.S. exchanges. The first one arrived in 2005, three more have been around for nearly 10 years, and two have come to market in the past six months.

Here are the six water ETFs, listed by launch date:

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