Water, Water Everywhere - Just Buy it, Don’t Drink it!

Pivotfarm's picture

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If you had the chance right now to see what was going to happen in the ten years or so (and no, I’m not talking about looking into your crystal ball or invoking the spirits from the other side), then what would you do? You couldn’t really miss the opportunity and failing to see that it’s water that you should be investing in would be senseless. It’s not just staring you in the face, it’s damn well punching you on the nose.

According to analysts, the world will end up facing a crisis over water shortages, and it has already begun in many parts of the world; and not just in those that are in Africa. Sometimes those places are much closer to home than either we might expect or that we would like for our comfort-zone. By 2030, we will have a 40% shortfall between the water that is available and what is being demanded.

There are many countries in the world that have a higher rate of extraction of water than its replenishment, and that means that water is being used up at unbelievable rates today.

  • The total volume of water on the planet is fixed, estimated at about 1.386 billion km³.
  • But, 97.5% of that is saline water.
  • Only 2.5% is fresh, with the vast majority in either unreachable places or trapped in ice reserves somewhere around the world.
  • Only about 0.3% is on the surface of the planet and directly available to us.

Food prices were volatile in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and it is obviously water that will lie at the heart of the problem in the future. Water will be the agricultural challenge in the years ahead. Water supplies, which are already scarce, are being depleted by growing industries and countries that are demanding that water in their manufacturing processes.

Water Scarcity in the World

Water Scarcity in the World

The World Economic Forum states that “we are now on the verge of water bankruptcy in many places around the world, with no clear way of repaying the debt”. Water bubbles have existed around the world, because we have had water prices maintained at very low prices in order to meet the needs of growing industrialists. The knock-on effect in certain regions around the world that are seeing their water bubbles burst (China, the Gulf States, India, the Middle East) will be (further) political instability and economic upheaval. At the present time, water has no substitute. It’s not like energy where we could (if we were actually to invest) find an alternative through renewable sources. Water cannot be replaced. We could perhaps invest in developing genetically-modified organisms that require less water to grow. But, even then we are going to hit the problem of the effects of that technological development in the food industry on our bodies. Anyhow, we are currently nowhere near that fork in the road yet. We are simply not investing in that.

Water: Scarce!

Water: Scarce!

Today the figures show the following:

  • Agriculture represents about 71% of water usage today (3, 100 billion km³).
  • This will increase to 4, 500 billion km³ in the next fifteen years.
  • Industry represents about 16% of water usage today in the world.
  • This will increase to 22% in the next decade and a half.
  • China’s water usage for industry will stand at 40% of the increase in demand for water around the world over that same period.

As the population around the world grows our water consumption grows too. But, it does not grow at the same proportional rate as the size of the population. The global population grew between 1990 and 2000, for instance by a factor of four. Water consumption grew by a factor of nine over that same period. Seems very much as if the more we grow, the thirstier we become. The richer we become, the more we waste that particular resource.

The world is a vulnerable place subjected to diminishing resources coupled with a population that is growing by the day. Births average out at about 134 million per year and deaths stand at 56 million today. That means that there is a net growth in world population of approximately 78 million people and world population is estimated to grow to between 8.3 and 10.9 billion by 2050. World population is currently at over 7.163 billion people today. As our world grows in population size, it will thirst even more for water. Yet water is sometimes considered only as a commodity to be bought and sold economically. It’s much more than that. It has a religious dimension, a social and cultural side too, as well as a biological need. That means that it will always be required. Water scarcity is just like the financial crisis that was pooh-poohed as being nothing or impossible, the bubble that would never and could never burst. But, that did burst with a big slap in the face at the same time. We shouldn’t look at water scarcity and the bankruptcy of certain countries in terms of water supply with disdain and dismiss the problem belittling it. It will spread like the financial crisis unless we take things in hand.

But taking things in hand is the job of governments and non-governmental organizations that are protecting the environment and making people aware that they are either wasting or over-consuming. One thing is certain: water is scarce on the planet and it will become scarcer. The second thing that is certain is that water will continue to grow economically-speaking as a commodity to invest in.

Investing in water seems as if it might be a good bet for the future. Water is not affected by business cycles like other commodities (yet). Water is still in demand whether inflation is high or low, whether there is a recession or not and that’s the social, religious and biological aspect that it has.

The S&P 1500 Water Utilities Index charts show exactly that.

S&P 1500 Global Water - Year 2013

S&P 1500 Global Water - Year 2013

S&P 1500 Global Water - 5 Years

S&P 1500 Global Water - 5 Years

American States Water shows an increase today of 0.20% (up 0.1100 to $54.6100). Over the past twelve months there has been a 37.39% increase in the value of their stock. American States Water purchases and produces water and then distributes it and sells it on. It’s one of the biggest names in the water sector and is included in the S&P 1500 Water Utilities Index.

American States Water 1 year

American States Water 1 year

Similarly, Aqua America is up today 2.45% (0.7600 to $31.8100), with an increase of 25.78% in share value over the past year alone. Over the past year share value has ranged from $24.0600 to $33.2800. Aqua America Inc. is a water utility company (supplying residential, commercial and industrial sectors.

Aqua America 1 Year

Aqua America 1 Year

Alternatively, the PowerShare ETF PHO (incepted on December 6th 2005), which invests 80% of its total assets in common stocks of water-industry companies, would also be a good bet. Today PowerShares Water Resources Portfolio stands at $22.5100, up $0.1000 (+0.45%). Shares have ranged from $17.7200 to $32.5790 over the past year.

werShares Water Resources Portfolio PHO 1 year

werShares Water Resources Portfolio PHO 1 year

Whatever happens in the future, you can be sure that anything to do with water will become bigger and better business. We haven’t invented anything that will replace it for the moment. We will always be in need of water and the population of the world is growing by the second. By investing in this sector it’s certain to bring in dividends and at the same time give the financial means to carry out research in the sector into ways of increasing the water supply that we have.

Originally posted: Water, water everywhere - Just Buy it, Don't Drink it!

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MeelionDollerBogus's picture

we clearly need a better way to gather water: the dewpointe can take it right from the air but first we need water sources that can cleanly evaporate, no polluted with radiation or other toxic industrial chemicals. Also, we need to figure out a plan with desalinization. This requires energy & makes excess salt that must go somewhere it won't poison our farm land or make too make oceans / regions so salty we kill off our food supplies. The ocean is a big place, true, but we know we'll be doing this at the shores, not in the middle of the ocean, so we must be realistic.

WallowaMountainMan's picture

"By 2030, we will have a 40% shortfall between the water that is available and what is being demanded."

guess its not such a hot idea to pump water into ground for fracking.


PT's picture

"By 2030, we will have a 40% shortfall between the water that is available and what is being demanded."

But it can't really be a problem becoz our givmint still pays people to have more babies.

stuman's picture

If/when push comes to shove and regions are destabilized or in actual conflict due to (water) thirst or hunger due to reduced water for agriculture...I don't think anyone will be "trading" water shares, it ALL be about possession, storage and use by those that have the might to take it or keep it.

Your paper water will be about as useful as your paper gold ;)


I am on to you's picture

Dont one just,love, Tommy Steele"not a drop to drink"unless,you want to be roundedup,for the love of the ones to come!!No, Pax, Vomit Scums!!!

Water water,a hand full of songs to sing!

Obrien, signing out of the club of, frigid twolegged infants!Cesium 137-134.fockushima!

orangegeek's picture

Not sure Pivotfarm included clouds and the stuff that falls from it.



Not Too Important's picture

You mean the clouds that are all full of radiation, and drops rain full of lethal isotopes, like plutonium, that will kill billions?

Stay away from mushrooms (theyr'e the worse - radiation sponges), leafy vegetables, fish, meat, poultry, dairy, anything grown in the ground, anything grown that needs water, oh, wait . . .

LFMayor's picture

no he meant those long thin clouds that come out of airliners crossing the sky.  The ones with the mind control chemicals.  Just like we sprayed on Germany in WW2. 

Seen the film footage? 

Spaces's picture

Grow more crops to feed to "livestock" who piss and shit on an order of magnitude beyond what humans do.  Eat these animals to contribute to the degrading state of human health and the planet.  Join a sickness club and let your doctor imply how important your life is by ordering radical procedures and the administration of poisons to treat disease rather than pursuing the cause of health in the first place.  The aforementioned process seems to complete something of an inefficiency loop.  

It seems to me that most of you lemmings continue to avoid the incovenient.  

Ego, bitchez.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

the manure from these herbivore meat animals is good for the soil. Just don't liquify it and spray it. Let it go solid & be digested by bacteria then SHOVEL it into the soil to reach the right balance of carbon, nitrogen & the consistency you need for your crops.

zjxn06's picture

Pssssssssst! Yeah you.  Come over here.  Shhhhh!  Quiet.

Want a free stock tip?  Check out BWEL.  Loads of farm land.  Massive renewable high Sierra water rights. Used to irrigate all the California farm land with room to spare.  Could sell excess water some day. 


Operates in California (ughh) and Australia.

Thinly traded.

Secretive Company.  Must own share(s) to obtain data.

Do your own dd.

Place limit orders only.


bill1102inf's picture

As soon as we are forced to adopt Thorium for energy production, there will be abundant and cheap energy (and therefore water) everywhere.

NidStyles's picture

Some random crank website should be valued compared to decades of research by actual nuclear physicists...


Holy hell the number of errors in that article are astonishing.

TrustWho's picture

Learn how to make beer from sewage water. Actually, if you collect and use urine, beer from urine can be OK. There will be plenty of polluted water, because water stays in the system, but the water must be used carefully. In the period prior to 1900s, smart people drinked beer and wine. The alcohol killed the microbes. 

Forward History's picture

Mead, ale, etc were consumed to a greater extent than water by most Europeans until well into the 19th century. You could trust it not to make you sick, whereas you could never trust the local water source.

PT's picture


But why the F would you have to use urine at all?  We have a whole bloody planet with which to solve this "problem".  I'd rather re-use the urine after it has been filtered through dirt, absorbed and helped to grow a fucking plant, been sweated out of the plant and evaporated by the fucking sun and then rained down again!

Let me repeat, as a bonus that urine can grow fucking plants before being purified and returned to us for FREE! 

TrustWho's picture

PT--> ForwardHistory got my point. 

Just so you know, urine contains significant amount of salts. You can turn your soil too salty and kill all plants, so your system may NOT be as simple as you think.

PT's picture

Thanks TrustWho.  Yes, I know nothing about gardening but I didn't think it would be as easy as just pissing on a plant ... except that somehow nature has been dealing with us pissing on plants for the last few million years ... maybe things are different when there are 7 billion of us pissing everywhere, instead of the few million / hundred million from years gone by ... yet another complication ... which can be solved for free with a world-wide one child policy, or else we can have as many kids as we like and the government of the day will tax the fuck out of everyone to pay for a "piss-salt extractor" while telling everyone they have to feel guilty for pissing too much ...

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

nitrogen, not salt, and yes, it's good for the garden but it's probably better if you do something to separate the nitrogen.

PT's picture

1.  We already have a big-ass solar powered desalination plant operating world wide 12 hours per day for free.  It's called the sun.  The day we run out of fresh water is the day the sun stops shining ( or a few days / weeks later ).
2.  We don't use water.  We drink it.  We piss it out. The sun purifies it again.
3.  Maybe we need to grow crops where all the clouds are.  That might require re-locating a few farms and cities.
4.  If I remember rightly, the average person on the planet is probably 50 litres of water ( say 70 kg person, 70% water ).  That water is tied up for the life of the person, then it returns to the earth. 
5.  If we really are out-pacing the sun's abilities, we could always consider a world-wide one-child policy.  No?  Then you're not serious.
6.  (I'm a bit iffy on this one but ) wouldn't melting ice-caps and rising sea levels and the rising temperatures offset any "water shortage"?

I'm not worried about a water shortage at all, but I'm shit-scared of intelligence and integrity shortages in positions of power.  That's what's really gonna fuck up the planet, no matter what the truth is.  

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

No - rising sea levels is a LOSS of fresh water ice leading to an increase of SALT WATER in the SEA. Which is SALTY.

What grade did you flunk out? 5?

PT's picture

Be fair - I did admit that I was a bit "iffy" on that point.  But if we end up with higher global temperatures, wouldn't that increase the rate of evaporation and the amount of water that can be suspended in the air?  In that case, yes we would get more fresh water up in the atmosphere - more, bigger clouds.

PT's picture

Oh yeah, and every time you drive your car, what comes out of the exhaust pipe?  Amongst other things, Carbon dioxide and WATER!!!!  We consume 85 million barrels of oil per day.  How much of that is burnt and turned into how much WATER???  ( I did some rough calcs once but the results are on my other computer and I can't be bothered looking it up right now. )  Let's all drive 6 litre V8s and quench the fucking planet!!!

Pardon me, some articles provoke this kind of response ... 

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

You think water comes out from burning GASOLINE?

You're an idiot. No gas engine does that.

PT's picture


The stoichiometric reaction for octane, C8H18, and oxygen is:

2 C8H18  +  25 O2  -->  16 CO2  +  18 H2

Gasoline is made mainly from alkanes, from C5 to C12.  Modify the above reaction to suit.  Also, the reaction is not perfect due to the conditions of the reaction.    In the real world, Carbon Monoxide, along with some oxides of nitrogen ( due to nitrogen also in the air ) are also found in the completed reaction.

Or perhaps you can educate me on some other worldly chemistry ...

P.S.  I don't recommend drinking the steam straight out of your exhaust pipe.  It's probably contaminated with fuel additives.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

I think you already summed up the reply: in the REAL world. Where there's carbon monoxide.

Thanks for coming out. Equation-smart + real-world stupid

PT's picture

... sez the guy who thinks there's no water coming out of his exhaust pipe?

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

since you're talking about purely adding o2 and then admit "but not in the real world" why don't you MEASURE how much water is coming out the tailpipe of a car and MEASURE how much water is going into the engine from the atmosphere because that's NOT part of combustion, and show me the real world math before you open your yap again.

PT's picture

... or you could just show me the equations that prove that water isn't a product from burning hydrocarbons.

Stud Duck's picture

Interesting article with dubious stats, but most all doomers use stats to support their point of view. It is obvious to even the lowly farmer like myself that water is going to be much higher for the consuming public.

I was involved in the 40 yr lawsuit between Kansas and SE Colorado farmer regarding the Arkansas River water shed, I have plenty of freind farming in SW Kansas for the last 50 years and they know the Ogalala Aquafer is about gone.

The one point the author did not present is that all the companies stock he presented are owned by German, Dutch or UK holding companies. All reading this may want to check out who actuall owns the water company that they get their water from. I many cases the local politicians have sold their cities water system to large corporate enties from other contries, and then they are named "American Water Company". I dare to think how much money when to the local politicans to get the water systems purchased.

Mordan I's picture

There is plenty of water as of 2015. (As long as you are by the sea)

To achieve desalination, the researchers apply a small voltage (3.0 volts) to a plastic chip filled with seawater. The chip contains a microchannel with two branches. At the junction of the channel an embedded electrode neutralizes some of the chloride ions in seawater to create an “ion depletion zone” that increases the local electric field compared with the rest of the channel. This change in the electric field is sufficient to redirect salts into one branch, allowing desalinated water to pass through the other branch.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Once the salt clogs up one branch of microchannel how do you clear it? Wash in hot water?

shovelhead's picture

Hydroponic food production can use as much as 95% less water (and 75% less space) than soil ag and be fine tuned for maximum nutrient uptake while recycling and replenishing the solution.

Not practical for cereal crops but almost all vegetables and even fruit crops can easily be adapted to grow faster and bigger with careful applications and recycling of nutrient solutions.

A long proven tech with commercial growers who formerly ran drain to waste systems.

Using water wisely without minerals leaching into the ground is not a bad idea.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

How's that for apples, oranges, lemons or other trees bearing fruit?

I Drink Your Milkshake's picture

I see your Hydroponic system and raise you a Aquaponic system.

i'm in a working partnership with a 3000sq/ft Aquaponic farm that is currently raising Swai and fancy lettuces for local restaurants. Can't grow things fast enough. Nice thing is there are 13 more derelict greenhouses on the property to expand.

Just need a few wind/solar generators to offset the electrical costs. And two people can easily maintain the operation.

The reason the original farm went belly up was the wells dried up and no county water close by.

Pays to think outside the box!

fijisailor's picture

Here's my take on water. 

1.  It's more important to have access to clean salt water than contaminated fresh water.  If you want to run a reverse osmosis system to purify, contamination will ruin the membranes.

2.  The Cayman Island lives 100% on reverse osmosis water from the sea.  It's expensive if you're a customer but the quality is incredible.

Bob Sacamano's picture

Looking for good water investment ideas.  I do believe water will be a big issue in the next 5-10 years.   Primarily for agriculture (which uses 80% of fresh water).

ERII is a pure play desal company which is focused on reducing the energy needed for desal (energy is what makes desal expensive).  It is a decent company (not great), but am betting one day the water stocks will run big time and ERII will move more than its share.  In the meantime, I think they can grow sales and profits. 

LFMayor's picture

So let's recap:

I may be a bit rusty on these older ones...
1840's, 1850's (twice)
END OF THE WORLD !!!111!ty.   Sell all your shit, wear a toga and get to the highest point near you for the Rapture.   7th day adventists, Jehovah witnesses  et. al. are born

1960's, 1970's
EARTH COOLING 111!!!11!  Ice age imminent.
Horse shit.Oh, and ACID RAIN.  Yeah, that too.

then it was EARTH HEATING 11!!1111!!!  Ozone depletion, pollution,
carbon tax
More horse shit

Next, we did one more quick dance with EARTH COOLING, but this week it's:

Kiss my ass.
Oh, and mix in various Milennial calander events, comets and the threat of nuclear war in with the above.

Why can't these fucking idiots be decent, like the Jonesboro or the Hale-Bopp cultists and just end themselves?  Then we'll crack some jokes about them and go right on living unfettered by the continuing stupidity.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

jackass. Acid rain continues to devastate soil where industry is heavy with emitting sulfuric acid into the air.
And there's been no global cooling.
It's people like you who kill all the rest of us while telling us it's delicious cotton candy.
You should suicide yourself, NOT take the rest of us with you.

boogerbently's picture

....did SkyLab fall, yet ???

LFMayor's picture

LOL!  dude, I remember eating Life cereal and looking at the skylab story printed on the box, right before it splashed.

CSA's picture

Amazing you have three downs and one up.  Apparently ZH is eat up with doomsayers who will grasp at anything for their alternate reality to occur.

LFMayor's picture

CSA, there must be an overabundance of JW's in the crowd...

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

I think the article writer is just trying to say that water will probably increase in price in the future, based on factual information regarding available supply and cost of extraction.  What a crazy doomsayer!

NidStyles's picture

More likely it's price will increase because Bennie is printing billions a month...

DaveyJones's picture

yes, the only thing more psycho is saying limited resources on a finite planet will last forever with a growing population and that poisoning your environment has no consequences

NidStyles's picture

Water can be filtered and purified. It's also not destroyed upon consumption, it's not exactly a resource so much as a function of life.


Basically what I am saying is that it will be a few million years before water actually because an extinction level issue, and then it will have more to do with the sun shredding it's coronal layer than us running out of water.


Silly humans worrying about everything and constantly panicking, you sheep are pathetically ignorant.


MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Water consumed by industry frequently is split into hydrogen gas & oxygen. This means escaping or burned hydrogen is NOT available anymore to us to make more water.

Also, very expensive filtration techniques means that polluted water is no longer available since the energy cost is too prohibitive. Medical pollution & nuclear pollution are in that category.