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..."