Promising Investment Opportunities Gushing From California's Epic Water Crisis

by Trang Ho

Article posted previously at Forbes

In every crisis there is opportunity. Being the eighth-largest economy in the world, California's epic water crisis is a promising opportunity to invest in companies engaged in water recycling, reuse, efficiency, metering, drip irrigation, consulting services and analytic devices.

California's Projected Water Needs

The Golden State is expected to grow by 17.7 million residents - equivalent to all of New York state - between 1995 and 2025, driven by immigration. The state is forecasted to go from 12% of the U.S. population to 15% by 2025, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

California needs to spend $39 billion to meet its drinking water infrastructure needs over the next 20 years and $29.9 billion in wastewater infrastructure over the next 20 years, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Because of California's dry climate, it drinks up significantly more water than the rest of the U.S. Californians consume an average of 137 gallons per capita per day compared with 72 gallons in the Northeast and 82 gallons in the Midwest, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor and the U.S. Geological Survey. Some 60% of domestic use goes to watering landscape. But domestic use only makes up 1% overall water use. Most water is used for irrigation and power generation.

Policy makers wrote in the 2014 Infrastructure Capital Funding Plan:

"By 2050, annual statewide water demand to meet combined urban, agricultural, and environmental uses and to eliminate groundwater overdraft is expected to be 83.7 to 86.9 million acre-feet per year, 3.6 to 6.8 million acre-feet per year higher than the total current average annual demand of 80.1 million acre-feet."

SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 03: Low water levels are visible at the Los Capitancillos Recharge Ponds on April 3, 2015 in San Jose, California. As California enters its fourth year of severe drought and the state's snowpack is at record lows, little water runoff is reaching reservoirs and recharge ponds that capture water and that percolates through the soil to replenish underground aquifers. California Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered a statewide 25 percent mandatory water useage reduction for residents and businesses. Significant cuts in use will be imposed on cemeteries, golf courses and facilities with large landscapes. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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