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November 2

Interesting piece by Larry West

Posted on November 2, 2009 @ 4:12pm

The most valuable commodity in the world today, and likely to remain so
for much of this century, is not oil, not natural gas, not even some
type of renewable energy. It’s water—clean, safe, fresh water.



Follow the Money

When you want to spot emerging trends, always follow the money. Today,
many of the world’s leading investors and most successful companies are
making big bets on water. Do a little research, and it’s easy to see
why. There simply isn’t enough freshwater to go around, and the
situation is expected to get worse before it gets better.



According to Bloomberg News,
the worldwide scarcity of usable water worldwide already has made water
more valuable than oil. The Bloomberg World Water Index, which tracks
11 utilities, has returned 35 percent to investors every year since
2003, compared with 29 percent for oil and gas stocks and 10 percent
for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.


"There is only one direction for water prices at the moment, and that's
up," said Hans Peter Portner, who manages a $2.9 billion US Water Fund
at Pictet Asset Management in Geneva, according to a report by Bloomberg News.
The value of the fund increased 26 percent in 2005, and Portner expects
water to provide 8 percent annual returns through 2020.



Freshwater Becoming More Scarce

The United Nations estimates that by 2050 more than two billion people
in 48 countries will lack sufficient water. Approximately 97 percent to
98 percent of the water on planet Earth is saltwater (the estimates
vary slightly depending on the source). Much of the remaining
freshwater is frozen in glaciers or the polar ice caps. Lakes, rivers
and groundwater account for about 1 percent of the world’s potentially
usable freshwater.


If global warming continues to melt glaciers in the polar regions, as
expected, the supply of freshwater may actually decrease. First,
freshwater from the melting glaciers will mingle with saltwater in the
oceans and become too salty to drink. Second, the increased ocean
volume will cause sea levels to rise, contaminating freshwater sources
along coastal regions with seawater.


Complicating matters even further is that 95 percent of the world’s
cities continue to dump raw sewage into rivers and other freshwater
supplies, making them unsafe for human consumption.



The Need for Freshwater is Increasing Rapidly

Yet, while freshwater supplies are at best static, and at worst
decreasing, the world’s population is growing rapidly. The United
Nations estimates that the world population—approximately 6.5 billion
in 2006—will grow to 9.4 billion by 2050.


The cost of water is usually set by government agencies and local
regulators. Water isn't traded on commodity exchanges, but many
utilities stocks are publicly traded. Meanwhile, investments in
companies that provide desalinization, and other processes and
technologies that may increase the world’s supply of freshwater, are
growing rapidly.



Companies Investing in Water

General Electric Chairman Jeffrey Immelt said the scarcity of clean
water around the world will more than double GE’s revenue from water
purification and treatment by 2010—to a total of $5 billion.


GE’s strategy is for its water division to invest in desalinization and
purification in countries that have a shortage of freshwater. Saudi
Arabia is expected to invest more than $80 billion in desalinization
plants and sewer facilities by 2025 to meet the needs of its growing
population. And while China is home to 20 percent of the world’s
people, only 7 percent of the planet’s freshwater supply is located
there.



"This will be a big and growing market for a long time," Immelt said at the GE annual meeting in Philadelphia in April 2006.

November 1

Drinking Bottled in NY? It's going to cost you...

Posted on November 1, 2009 @ 6:58pm

Starting today, the state of New York is adding a 5-cent deposit for each bottle of water sold.  It is the 11th state to do so, and proponents hope that it will boost recycling efforts and decrease the amount of plastic bottles which end up in landfills.  For me, personally, I hope it will act as a deterrent in causing individuals to no longer purchase non-reusable water bottles.  But that's just me.  Get the full story here.

November 1

Be anti-bottle with this bottle in hand

Posted on November 1, 2009 @ 6:52pm

Now you can be as anti-plastic-water-bottle as you wish, while toting the new "anti-bottle".  Created by Vapur Inc, a local company headquartered in Westlake Village, this easily transportable, dishwasher safe and super stylish water bottle tackles the one big issue reusable water bottle carriers face...what to do with that big bottle once it's empty.  Now there's an answer: simply roll the bottle up to a much more convenient, and easily transportable, size.  Learn more, find pictures or buy your own at http://www.vapur.us

November 1

A Must Read

Posted on November 1, 2009 @ 6:52pm

Definitely check out this article, posted by the LA Time on November 1.  It outlines how one of the major water supplier for the southwest and Mexico carries radioactive and toxic substances.  Such an issue would have less impact if the US had better policies and programs on rain water retention and pollution prevention.

October 21

Take Action this Friday

Posted on October 21, 2009 @ 7:07pm

Friday is International Day of Climate Action.  No, this isn't the equivalent of an October Earth Day.  This is a day where you, your friends, family, neighbors and community leaders can make a difference in your area to battle the effects of global climate change.  Visit tcktcktck.org/350 to learn of planned events near to you, or to submit an idea of your own.  You can also learn more about 350.org, the organization coordinating the day of events.
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