Investing in - WATER - thoughts

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.
jalbert
Posts: 1861
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:29 am

Re: Investing in - WATER - thoughts

Postby jalbert » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:31 pm

Water consumption in the US in 2010 was:
397,000 acre-feet/yr, let's call it 400,000.

Water volume of Lake Superior: 2900 cubic miles. That is approximately 9.8 billion acre-feet, let's call it 10B.

Disregarding the fact that water rights for Lake Superior are shared with Canada, it has enough fresh water to supply the US with water at 2010 consumption levels for about 25,000 years. If the recharge of new water is slower than its outflow, a dam might be needed, and damming up and draining the lake at a faster rate than it recharges likely would have environmental consequences, but I can't get excited about investing in the world's most common commodity.

Investing in technology to deliver fresh water to where it is needed, or to purify/desalinate water already near where it is needed is another matter, and index fund investors likely already invest in that.
Last edited by jalbert on Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Risk is not a guarantor of return.

new2bogle
Posts: 853
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:05 pm

Re: Investing in - WATER - thoughts

Postby new2bogle » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:46 pm

Water is so yesterday. I would invest in canned air.

Image

SittingOnTheFence
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2015 5:30 pm

Re: Investing in - WATER - thoughts

Postby SittingOnTheFence » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:59 pm

Valuethinker wrote:See post above.


Thanks for the interesting information. I do note that the ReviewJournal articles do seem to be a bit promotional (self serving in an area that thrives on getting people to buy property?). Those articles are also a bit dated, but perhaps not THAT dated. It's hard to accept that water is not that much of an issue in a historical very dry area that recently had the faster growing population in the US. Since the water authority is paying people to rip up their lawns it has to be of some concern.

I will admit to personal bias on this issue and perhaps I fail to objectively look at all the info.

User avatar
topper1296
Posts: 424
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:50 pm
Location: Nashville TN

Re: Investing in - WATER - thoughts

Postby topper1296 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:13 pm

I'm mainly indexed, however I do also have individual stocks as well and 3 of them are water related. Water is one of the only products out there that has no substitute product risk.

queso
Posts: 218
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:52 pm

Re: Investing in - WATER - thoughts

Postby queso » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:21 am

jalbert wrote:Water consumption in the US in 2010 was:
397,000 acre-feet/yr, let's call it 400,000.

Water volume of Lake Superior: 2900 cubic miles. That is approximately 9.8 billion acre-feet, let's call it 10B.

Disregarding the fact that water rights for Lake Superior are shared with Canada, it has enough fresh water to supply the US with water at 2010 consumption levels for about 25,000 years. If the recharge of new water is slower than its outflow, a dam might be needed, and damming up and draining the lake at a faster rate than it recharges likely would have environmental consequences, but I can't get excited about investing in the world's most common commodity.

Investing in technology to deliver fresh water to where it is needed, or to purify/desalinate water already near where it is needed is another matter, and index fund investors likely already invest in that.

You convinced me.. I'm shorting water.

Valuethinker
Posts: 31206
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Investing in - WATER - thoughts

Postby Valuethinker » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:52 am

jalbert wrote:Water consumption in the US in 2010 was:
397,000 acre-feet/yr, let's call it 400,000.

Water volume of Lake Superior: 2900 cubic miles. That is approximately 9.8 billion acre-feet, let's call it 10B.

Disregarding the fact that water rights for Lake Superior are shared with Canada, it has enough fresh water to supply the US with water at 2010 consumption levels for about 25,000 years. If the recharge of new water is slower than its outflow, a dam might be needed, and damming up and draining the lake at a faster rate than it recharges likely would have environmental consequences, but I can't get excited about investing in the world's most common commodity.

Investing in technology to deliver fresh water to where it is needed, or to purify/desalinate water already near where it is needed is another matter, and index fund investors likely already invest in that.


I am reminded of the Sea of Azov, which was a real sea complete with fishing boats etc, and has now been taken off maps. River diversion for cotton production in the Soviet are led to its disappearance.

So I am not sure about the hydrology of diverting Lake Superior to meet say US needs. Or what happens if we got anywhere near that.

For example northern Canada is held to be water rich. But actually, apparently, precipitation is very low-- it doesn't snow so much as it is very very cold (except this year). So there are not the kinds of water resources that are sometimes assumed in the Arctic Ocean watershed.

I think it boils down to energy. If we have enough energy, cheap enough, then we are OK. Probably the USA is rich enough to divert/ reuse/ desalinate enough water to meet its needs. Although some agricultural related activities may have to cease in some places.

On a global scale, there are big water shortages in some places with fast rising populations, and the frequency and length of droughts seems to be getting worse.

Valuethinker
Posts: 31206
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Investing in - WATER - thoughts

Postby Valuethinker » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:53 am

queso wrote:
jalbert wrote:Water consumption in the US in 2010 was:
397,000 acre-feet/yr, let's call it 400,000.

Water volume of Lake Superior: 2900 cubic miles. That is approximately 9.8 billion acre-feet, let's call it 10B.

Disregarding the fact that water rights for Lake Superior are shared with Canada, it has enough fresh water to supply the US with water at 2010 consumption levels for about 25,000 years. If the recharge of new water is slower than its outflow, a dam might be needed, and damming up and draining the lake at a faster rate than it recharges likely would have environmental consequences, but I can't get excited about investing in the world's most common commodity.

Investing in technology to deliver fresh water to where it is needed, or to purify/desalinate water already near where it is needed is another matter, and index fund investors likely already invest in that.

You convinced me.. I'm shorting water.


Water is plentiful.

Fresh, potable water, in the right places, can be very short indeed. And a pattern of longer droughts seems to be emerging (and perhaps more frequent ones).

User avatar
Epsilon Delta
Posts: 6458
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:00 pm

Re: Investing in - WATER - thoughts

Postby Epsilon Delta » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:11 am

The US is rich enough to contemplate desalinization for flushing toilets (1/4 of domestic use). Salt water works fine for that application, although the distribution problem is mind boggling. There are other alternatives that work fine and use little or no water, the main issue is lack of support.

When people say there is no alternative to fresh water, in many cases it's just not true.


Return to “Investing - Theory, News & General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dominic, hilink73 and 39 guests