NY Times: "As Fresh Water Grows Scarcer, It Could Become A Good Investment"

Sweeney Swift

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,620

Water is easy to take for granted. It falls from the sky, and, though it’s vital, we sometimes treat it as if it’s worthless. How often have you seen sprinklers running in the rain?

Yet the prospect of shortages in the years ahead could make water a precious commodity. That represents an opportunity for investors.

A small group of traditional mutual funds and exchange-traded funds already invest in it, mainly in companies that contribute to the delivery, testing and cleaning of potable water. Those companies stand to grow as governments around the globe strive to stem the expected water shortfalls.

“Water scarcity is a global phenomenon,” said Andreas M. Fruschki, portfolio manager of the AllianzGI Global Water Fund. “And it’s most pronounced in regions with the highest population growth,” like the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East.
Population growth, climate change and pollution are disrupting the world’s freshwater supplies. The United Nations Environment Program has predicted that half the globe’s population could face severe water stress by 2030. Annual expenditures of $200 billion, up from a historical average of about $40 billion to $45 billion, are needed now to keep spigots running, the U.N. said in a 2016 report.

Even developed countries face rising costs to deliver water, because water is heavy and hard to move long distances. “Rain in New York doesn’t help Southern California,” Mr. Fruschki said. On top of this, much of the water infrastructure in the developing world is antiquated and overdue to be replaced, he said. That’s leading to water-main breaks across the United States and the loss of two trillion gallons a year of drinking water, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2017 Infrastructure Report Card.
A quirk of this sector is that, though water is a commodity, it can’t be bought directly in the way many other commodities can be. “It’s not a tradable good like oil,” Mr. Fruschki said. Australia has a water market, called Waterfind. But in the United States, betting on the price of water requires buying land that has water rights associated with it. Harvard University’s endowment, for example, has bought up California vineyards and thus acquired control of their water rights.
Literally the villain plot from one of the shittier Craig Bond films, but real, entirely preventable over the past decade, and with the endorsement of the biggest paper in the country
 

Dreams-Visions

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
12,941
Miami, FL
Much like food, this generally continues to be a problem on the horizon that we are wholly dependent on engineering and science to solve.

Pray those smartest among us can find a viable, affordable solution. Particularly for poor nations that will suffer the most.
 

Kill3r7

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,865
This is a fairly old topic and many corporations have already started positioning themselves for this scenario. Heck Robin Williams joked about this very topic in his HBO special.

Edit: although I suspect that when the water situation gets that dire governments will cease control.
 
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Maintenance

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,829
One guy who made a lot of money from the 2008 crash started investing in water, years later.

Future is going to be wild for regular people, can't even imagine how shitty things are going to get.
 

Qikz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,881
Fuck capitalism. Access to water should be a basic human right, nobody should be able to control water.
 

dragonchild

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,865
Edit: although I suspect that when the water situation gets that dire governments will cease control.
Cease or seize? Both are kind of right. If someone monopolizes water, either the government is forced go "NOPE" or said government will get overthrown.

Water is by far the stupidest and most psychopathic long con. These idiots buying up water think that when it grows scarce, they can go all Fury Road on the populace. It only works because potable water is still abundant enough to be fungible. Even in Flint, life sucks but drinking water can be purchased in bulk from outside the city.

People can go weeks without food, yet food shortages will spark riots. Lack of water will kill in days. People keep talking about guillotines and pitchforks in the context of stagnant wages and foreclosed mortgages; that's a pipe dream. But deny people water and you're basically declaring war on everyone.
 

Xiao Hu

Member
Oct 26, 2017
860
I hope this raises the probability of people finally turning on the rich as soon as they get to taste of what people in developing countries and even poor areas in their own states have to suffer at the hand of those companies.
 

Futureman

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,445
How is the NYT reporting on something an "endorsement"? I realize this is a really touchy issue but the article did a pretty good job of describing the situation and also presented opposite viewpoints.
 

TheMan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,562
Why don’t they invest in desalination tech. It’s expensive and inefficient now but that seems like an obvious next step.
 

DrSlek

Member
Oct 29, 2017
3,486
Making money out of peoples suffering.

Do these motherfuckers want a popular uprising!? Because this is how you get a popular uprising!
 

GoldenEye 007

Roll Tide, Y'all!
Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,339
Texas
People like to shit on Bond films for being too outlandish, then years later shit starts happening in real life.

Quantum of Solace being an obvious one. Tomorrow Never Dies being another with the weaponization of news media.

Anyway more on topic, shits fucked. Don’t know what else to say.
 

PhoncipleBone

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,781
Kentucky, USA
Why don’t they invest in desalination tech. It’s expensive and inefficient now but that seems like an obvious next step.
I just watched Top Secret last night and loved that joke.
“I have created tech that can desalinate 50,000gallons of seawater daily. Do you know what that could mean for impoverished countries?”
“Oh my god! They could have enough salt for anything!”
 

delete

Member
Jul 4, 2019
10
This is why people should and need to be anti-capitalist
The privatisation of water will cause prices to rise. If capitalism functions correctly and competition is enforced then investment into mass desalination technology may be able to compete in price.

Most natural fresh water sources are not going to be reliable sources in the future regardless of privatisation due to climate change. Cheap mass desalination is necessary in order to limit future climate wars.
 

The Albatross

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,063
Kinda tangential here, but an idle thought I've had for a long time...

I've felt like there will soon become some massive technical solution for regionalized water problems... or at least that a massive technical solution becomes more realistic cost wise given the rising cost of water problems. WIth the affect of climate change you'll have concurrent stories dominating the new of droughts in the (US) Southwest and Southeast, and floods in the midwest and plains. Now, sure, there's a massive mountain range and insane logistical costs that prevent the surplus in one area from alleviating the drought in the other, but ... I'm starting to think as extremes become more ... extreme ... when we tally up the total damage caused by both extremes (insurance), that pre-emptive technological solutions become more realistic. The north east US is mostly reaching water capacity in its reservoirs ... The largest reservoir in New England, the Quabbin system in central Mass (provides public water to Boston and major metro areas around it), has reached record capacities successive years in a row, and the reservoir is currently at max capacity now, draining off into the Swift/Connecticut river system, and yet, 12-24 hour drives away there are localized water shortages at the same time of year. Now, obviously, this is a logistical "impossibility" today because of cost, but as localized/regionalized water shortages become more dire the cost of those shortages increases and the cost of damage (insurance) can make pre-emptive investment more reasonable.

It's one of those ideas that's batted around in my head that if I were a billionaire who wiped my butt with money I'd throw $10b into cost analysis research.

How is the NYT reporting on something an "endorsement"? I realize this is a really touchy issue but the article did a pretty good job of describing the situation and also presented opposite viewpoints.
It's not, it's just that anything that is presented without opinion or editorial makes 40% of this forum go into an illogical rage, and being a newspaper, the NYT usually reports stories like this without editorializing on it. I'm sure in the coming days and weeks they'll run editorials about it that have opinions, but that's not enough... for a growing number of people the news has to be editorialized these days or else it's evil.
 
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klonere

Member
Nov 1, 2017
2,701
I love to commditize the very basic building block of life itself, to me it represents the entrepreneurial spirit of mankind at its zenith

Nationalize the fucking water. QUICK.
 

The Albatross

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,063
I love to commditize the very basic building block of life itself, to me it represents the entrepreneurial spirit of mankind at its zenith

Nationalize the fucking water. QUICK.
There isn't any private organization that "owns" water or water rights, so it can't really be nationalized like ... say ... the railroads were, and water rights are already managed by governments (in the US). Nations claim sovereignty over their water rights, and within nations, states and local governments regularly sue one another over their water rights; within cities, private companies especially in water-intensive industries like farming regularly go to court over water access or land that has water access. The establishment of, basically, every dam in the US in the last 100 years has usually been accompanied by years of law suits in federal court of one state suing another for the water rights; and the federal government usually adjudicates those.

There are private water enterprises that are commodotized like desalination plants, some water purification/potability plants (though most of these are governmental/municipal in the US... private/public partnerships), and then the relatively small but well known water industries like bottled water or private water use (pools, commercial development, mechanized industry, specialized water uses, etc). The water supply, though, is largely government controlled and public.
 

platocplx

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,415
Wanna know how bad water is becoming in the US. just google "consent decree water" There are TONS of cities who have been told by the govt to fix their water systems and to prevent sewage and runoff from mixing.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,922
T. Boone. Pickens tried to monopolize the water supply to west Texas. This shit is going to happen. Billionaires are going to buy up access to aquifers and control access.