Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Gray water recycling gains momentum: Is it safe?

"Tap water isn't just a commodity, it's a beverage.

That's why, especially in the midst of a drought, some Atlantans cringe at the thought of flushing it down the commode..."

Monday, December 17, 2007

Water, water everywhere

The PHO ETF has risen to the top of The Motley Fool's Caps list:

"Water, water everywhereDespite the fact that just more than two-thirds of the Earth's surface is covered in water, it could prove to be a precious commodity in the coming centuries as global demand for clean drinking water outpaces supply. As world populations continue to grow and emerging market economies improve, clean water infrastructure will need to be built to distribute the nectar of the gods to remote and populous cities alike..."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Western states sign historic water pact

"LAS VEGAS - Seven Western states signed a sweeping agreement on Thursday to conserve and share scarce Colorado River water, ending a divisive battle among the thirsty rivals.

More than 30 million people in California, Arizona, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico are affected by the historic agreement.

The 20-year plan, which took effect with Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne's signature, resolved several legal disputes among water agencies and formalized rules to cooperate during the ongoing drought gripping the region.

A key element of the drought plan lets the lower-basin states of California, Nevada and Arizona use the vast Lake Mead reservoir behind Hoover Dam to store water they conserve or don't need for use later..."

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Mining 'blue gold'

"The International Water Institute says more than 30% of the world's population is now running short of supplies, a level that was not expected to be reached until at least 2025..."

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Issues in Sustainable Cities: On water usage in and for cities; the effects of extravagance

This one via digg. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but thought i'd throw it out there anyway:

"As we hear of water shortages in Australia, the U.S. and many other places, it is clear that water resources are now more than ever, a global concern. As reported by the World Water Council the last century has seen the human population triple and water consumption grow six-fold. In the eyes of the council, this growth in consumption has occurred in a context in which water is a renewable resource. While a simple model of the hydrological cycle would support this hypothesis, the way in which we currently use water has transformed the notion of “temporarily borrowing water” from the cycle, to “mining water” out of the cycle. Mining water refers to how in every instance that it is used, it is returned to the environment in a way that is unfit to sustain the functions of other systems or organisms later in the cycle (i.e. it is heated, it contains excess nutrients, heavy metals, sewage etc.). The “mining” of water also means that in some instances, over-extraction leads to the inability of an aquifer to ever fully recharge because of saltwater intrusion or land subsidence-rendering it non renewable. Several factors may account for this. Climate change, as many scientists will say, is involved with changing the precipitation patterns that would normally resupply the depleted aquifers and rivers. Over-consumption of water compounded by the pressure of population growth is another. The problem we face is multifaceted in that demand is increasing as supplies are declining where it is needed..."

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

China's water treatment industry to take off as venture capitalists keen to invest

"China's water and wastewater treatment industry is expected to expand rapidly, with international and domestic venture capitalists attending a cleantech conference yesterday expressing great interest in the business opportunities arising from the country's deteriorating water quality and severe water shortage, especially in northern China.

Officials with various venture capital and private equity firms told Interfax that water and wastewater projects have become their central focus in the search for venture investment opportunities in China's clean technology industry.

Water and waste water cleantech projects in China received $90 million in venture capital in 2006 and the first quarter of 2007, and are forecast to attract $100 million in investment in 2008, according to a research report recently published by Cleantech Network..."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Fears make resources sparkle

The Globe and Mail has a short report about hedge fund manager Otto Spork and his views on various commodities, including water. His fund is currently 35% in water stocks as he believes they are "still off everyone's radar screen..."

"Hedge fund manager Otto Spork believes the pummelling taken by resource stocks because of fears that the U.S. subprime mortgage mess would slow down the North American economy has created buying opportunities.
"We are looking to buy on this weakness," the portfolio manager with Toronto's Sextant Capital Management Inc. said an interview..."

Monday, December 3, 2007

Water Threatens Asia's Urbanization, Prosperity: Andy Mukherjee

"The commodity that poses the biggest threat to long-term prosperity in Asia isn't oil, it's water..."

Super funds' farm push

Theage.com has an interesting look at the transformation of farming in drought stricken rural Australia.

"Across large areas of rural Australia, superannuation funds are joining the push of big money into the traditional territory of the small Aussie farmer, investing millions of dollars in rural land on behalf of their thousands of city-based fund members..."

Mexico City Aims for Water Self Sufficiency by 2020

"The top environmental official in the Mexico City government, Martha Delgado Peralta, said recently the city was launching a new water sustainability policy to guarantee self-sufficiency and supply for future generations. The target is ambitious -- to reach self-sufficiency by 2020 -- and the government faces many serious hurdles. The booming megalopolis of 20 million people currently relies on several outside water sources, some of them rivers up to 80 miles away. The water must be pumped uphill over the mountains that surround the Valley of Mexico via a complex and energy-intensive system..."

"Currently, nearly 11 cubic meters of water are lost per second in Mexico City due to leaky pipes..."

via treehugger.com

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Avoiding water shortages

Nice summary in the Bangkok Post of the present situation in Asia and the infrastructure development that will have to take place there in order to avoid catastrophe:

"The Asian Development Bank (ADB) released a report compiled by a group of experts which said that without proper management developing Asian nations would face severe water shortages in as little as ten years..."

Friday, November 30, 2007

Q&A With Jim Rogers

Question and answer with Jim Rogers including his commentary about the development of water in China:

"What's the biggest domestic risk to China's expansion? It's their water problem. In all of northern China, there are shortages of water developing. China is desperately trying to address the shortage problem. So somebody's going to make a huge fortune from it. But if they don't solve it, it's the end of the story..."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Canada's First Environmental Investment Management Company Launches Unique Global Equity Fund

"Investeco Financial Corporation (IFC), a leaderin environmental investing, today announced the availability of the InvestecoGlobal Environmental Sectors Fund. The investment objective of the Fund is toprovide long-term capital appreciation by investing primarily in publiclytraded equity securities located anywhere in the world that operate in thefast growing environmental sectors. Subject to securities laws in thepurchaser's province of residence, Units are offered in minimum initialinvestment amounts of $50,000 (or $150,000 for investors who do not qualify as"accredited investors")..."

Thirst for UK water remains as targets dwindle

"By Mathieu Robbins and Pete Harrison
LONDON, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Competition for dwindling UK water assets is hotting up after this week's $6 billion acquisition of Kelda took the number of listed targets down to just four..."

Mismanagement threatens Asian water crises: ADB study

"SINGAPORE (AFP) — The mismanagement of resources, not scarcity, will lead to water crises in developing Asian nations, said a study commissioned by the Asian Development Bank and released on Thursday..."

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Guardian: Crops hit, more water shortages, higher sea levels, bigger disease risk

"Saving the world's poorest people from the effects of runaway climate change will require the west to cut carbon emissions by four-fifths and display the political commitment shown by the United States in developing the atomic bomb or putting a man on the moon, the United Nations said last night..."

Iran to Invest $4bln in Development of Water Resources: Energy Minister

"Iran, Tehran / corr TrendCapital V.Sharifov / Over the next ten yaers Iran plans to invest $4bln in the development of the water resources of the country, Parviz Fattah, the Iranian Energy Minister said in Tehran on 27 November..."

Africa: Developed Countries Must Cut Emissions, Invest in Adaptation to Prevent Human Development Reversals

"The heavy carbon footprint of developed countries threatens to stamp out and then reverse advances in health, education and poverty reduction in sub-Saharan Africa unless critical steps are taken to cut emissions and invest in "climate-proofing" the livelihoods of the poor, according to the 2007/2008 Human Development Report (HDR) on climate change launched here today..."

Monday, November 26, 2007

China promises 1.35% of GDP as annual environmental protection investment

"BEIJING, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government will invest1.35 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) each year for the next three years in environmental protection..."

The Macroeconomics of Going Green

I think a dream scenario is unfolding for clean energy stocks in the United States. Here's why:

  1. The mortgage meltdown is great news for clean energy. Thanks to lower interest rates the young companies that make up the majority of this sector have access to cheap capital for research and development and to expand their operations. These same low interest rates devalue the USD and raise the cost of energy for Americans, creating incentives to seek out alternate sources of fuel.

  2. Owning clean energy stocks functions as a hedge against an oil shock scenario. If things turn ugly in the middle east and oil goes Ahamadinejad, speculative money will start flowing into this sector and offset at least some of the market risk.

  3. Betting website Intrade.com gives the Democrats 65% odds of winning the next presidential election, and Hillary 70% odds of being the Democratic nominee – Hilary has a husband who has an ex. business partner who has a Nobel Prize...

  4. The scale of transformation that will take place has not been seen since the industrial revolution. You thought dot com was big? You think China is big? Well guess what: this will be bigger. Imagine a scenario in which nearly every government, corporation and individual in the world makes significant changes to every aspect of their daily lives.

Jim Rogers talks about how, at the turn of the century, when everyone was talking about dot com stocks, he was looking at commodities and China. Now its 2007. Everyone is looking at commodities and China. Where are you looking?


The trick here will be not to select individual companies, because the fortunes of any one of these 5 or 10 years out is entirely unpredictable. Instead make a play on the theme. PBW, PBD...buy them all and hold on for the ride. It's a bet that will be difficult to lose.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cavemanus: Water and Water ETF's

Brian Powers at Cavemanus Blog has posted a very in depth article about PHO.

"To start with, I want to say that I own PHO, the PowerShares Water Resources Portfolio ETF. In this post I will explain why I invest in water and why PHO is my security of choice. The links for all sources noted are at the bottom of this post and should provide a bit of a linkfest for those looking to do further research..."

Palisades Water Index Wiki

Wikipedia has a breakdown of the Palisades Water Index, which is the basis for the PHO etf.

Investor Daily: Belgium manager launches water fund

"Fund manager Liontamer has launched its first Australian product, a water fund that invests in companies active in the global water industry.

The fund will be managed by the Liontamer's parent company, Belgium based KBC Asset Management (KBCAM)..."

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Environmental News Service: Australia Chooses Labor: Kevin Rudd Takes Over

"CANBERRA, Australia, November 24, 2007 (ENS) - It will be a Kevin Rudd Labor Government in Australia after today's vote.

The Liberal government led by John Howard, riding high as Prime Minister for the past 11 years, suffered a sharp defeat and Howard may have even lost his own seat.

A close ally of U.S. President George W. Bush, Howard has kept Australia out of the Kyoto Protocol, perferring to rely on technology alone rather than on the legally binding emissions limits of the protocol..."

Friday, November 23, 2007

ChannelNews Asia: Hyflux Water Trust launches IPO for SGX listing

"SINGAPORE : The first pure water business trust in Singapore is set to make its trading debut soon. Hyflux Water Trust has launched its IPO, offering 165 million units at 78 cents each. At least 30 million units have been set aside for public subscription..."(ChannelNews Asia)

AP: Early Climate Change Victim: Andes Water

"EL ALTO, Bolivia (AP) — Twice a day, Elena Quispe draws water from a spigot on the dusty fringe of this city, fills three grimy plastic containers and pushes them in a rickety wheelbarrow to the adobe home she shares with her husband and eight children..."(AP)

Brisbane Times: Water: the great untapped liquid asset

"It's all glamour, this funds management lark. When the Herald contacts Simon Padley, head of sales and distribution for Liontamer Investments, he's engrossed in study of water-efficient toilets..."(Brisbane Times)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

TimesOnline: Citigroup consortium bids £3bn for Kelda

"Kelda, the owner of Yorkshire Water, has received a £3 billion takeover approach from a consortium of infrastructure funds.
The UK’s third biggest water company confirmed the approach from Citgroup, GIC Special Investments and HSBC after its share price soared 13 per cent to £10.60..."(TimesOnline)

AP: UN Calls for Improved Sanitation

By JOHN HEILPRIN

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — "The United Nations proposed Wednesday that nations invest $10 billion a year in supplying clean water and sanitation for the third of the planet's population who lacks them..."(Google News)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Investopedia: Water: The Ultimate Commodity

"In the closing days of 2005, the PowerShares Water Resources Portfolio became the most recent addition to a growing number of ways to invest in water..." (Investopedia)

The New Yorker: THE LAST DROP

"Most mornings, the line begins to form at dawn: scores of silent women with babies strapped to their backs, buckets balanced on their heads, and in each hand a bright-blue plastic jug. On good days, they will wait less than an hour before a water tanker rumbles across the rutted dirt path that passes for a road in Kesum Purbahari, a slum on the southern edge of New Delhi. On bad days, when there is no electricity for the pumps, the tankers don’t come at all..."(The New Yorker)

Suite101: World's Best Water Stock

"Demand for water continues to surge, particularly in highly-populated and fast-growing nations. In the 21st century, the global importance of water will eclipse that of oil. Water was, is, and will always be essential for life..."(Suite101)

The Street.com: New ETF Makes a Big Splash in Water

"There's a variety of companies seeking to capitalize on this potentially lucrative water theme, from $376 billion market-cap behemoths like General Electric (GE - news - Cramer's Take - Rating) to $290 million micro-caps like Layne Christensen (LAYN - news - Cramer's Take - Rating). The challenge for investors is that GE's water business is a long way from having a meaningful impact on the entire company, and one little misstep from a micro-cap like Layne could result in a major blowup."(TheStreet)

ETFtrends: ETFs Flow Clean Water For The Future

"On the government side, Congress is negotiating the Clean Water Restoration Act H.R.2421. The outcome would give the Federal government the right to gauge how normal activities affect every drop of water that falls on your land..."(ETFtrends)

Seeking Alpha: Water Infrastructure Attracts Big Spending But Filtration has the Momentum

"Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody” – Mark Twain

Seeking Alpha: Water Industry ETFs Should Continue to Perform

"I feel like Jack Nicholson in Chinatown: everywhere I turn, water issues arise. So, like a good grownup who grew up on Peter Lynch, my automated response is, “Which companies are succeeding in the water industry?”..."(SeekingAlpha)

Seeking Alpha: Blue Gold: Comparing the Water ETFs

"Water has emerged as the new “new” thing in investing. People gaze out at a growing global population and envision the Kevin Costner flop WaterWorld come-to-life. They do the math on limited water resources and creeping pollution and they see dollar signs. There’s even a new name for the stuff: blue gold..."(SeekingAlpha)

Global Oil Production Peaking: What Happens Now?

Seeking Alpha: Investing in Water Stocks: How to Profit from 'Blue Gold'

Seeking Alpha: Investing in Water: The World's Most Precious Resource

Seeking Alpha Water: How to Quench Your Investor Thirst

"Back in November, I had a post

Seeking Alpha: Water: The World's Biggest Natural Resource Shortage

Seeking Alpha: First Trust's New Water ETF vs. PowerShares' PHO

"I want to follow up a little on the First Trust Water ETF (FWT) that is on the way soon. The chart below compares the index that underlies FWT to the PowerShares Water ETF (PHO) that I have owned since a day or two after its listing..." (SeekingAlpha)

WSJ: 'How Ethanol Is Making The Farm Belt Thirsty'

"ALMA, Neb. -- Mike Clements stood near the railing of a low bridge on a dusty country road and pointed to a clump of green amid the rippling waters of the Republican River.

"There it is," he said ominously. Anyone else might have seen a reed-like grass swaying in the breeze. But Mr. Clements, head of the Lower Republican Natural Resources District, saw phragmites, a fast-growing invasive species that is slowing the flow of the river and sucking up precious water. The stuff had to go, he said..."(WSJ subscribers only)

Seeking Alpha: 'Claymore's New Water ETF: More of a Pure Play Than Powershares'

"It’s an incredibly sad fact that globally there are more than one billion people who simply do not have access to safe water. Shocking numbers but when you consider that roughly double that number lacks adequate sanitation, you begin to understand the rationale and necessity for infrastructure investments. It’s not just about uncorrelated returns but providing the basics of life to the world..." (Seeking Alpha)