More Water Through Technology

Yesterday, I discussed the pressures being put on the global supply of fresh water. Nearly 1 billion people don’t have access to clean drinking water – and as the world’s population grows, the situation will only get worse. A growing population also means more mouths to feed, and the need for more water to grow increasing amounts of food.

It’s downright scary. But there are ways that technology can help. And investing in the companies that provide solutions to the world’s water problems can make you at least 50% over the next few years.

Currently, nearly 70% of global water use is for agriculture. So one solution is to ease the demand for water with the “more crop per drop” approach. In other words, to grow more food with less water.

This will come in the form of genetically modified seeds.

These seeds are showing great promise. Last year, for example, under drought conditions, one company tested seeds with a water optimization trait. And they were able to increase yields by 25%.

It is thought that, with this technology, we could reduce agricultural water use by 30% in the next few decades. That would have a tremendous impact on water demand.

Another solution to the world’s water problems is to “create” more fresh water.

Salt water is abundant. Unfortunately, we can’t drink it. But through technology, we can convert salt water to fresh water.

The desalination process removes salt and other minerals from salt water and makes the water fit for human consumption.

Desalination plants are usually found in locations that have limited (or no) fresh water resources but access to an abundant amount of salt water. That is why they are so common in the Middle East.

The United Arab Emirates has the world’s largest desalination plant. It provides 300 million cubic meters of water per year.

Israel gets 5%-6% of its daily water needs from a desalination plant.

We have them here in the US too. The largest is in Tampa, Florida. The city gets 25 million gallons of drinking water a day from its desalination plant.

Producing drinkable water in this manner uses a significant amount of energy. So it costs more to produce desalinated water than to pull fresh water out of a lake or stream. But that should change very soon.

For one thing, the cost of fresh water is going up. Last year, for example, Houston raised its water rates 30%. Expect more of the same not only in the US, but across the globe.

As the cost of fresh water increases, it will get closer to the cost of desalinated water. Meanwhile, the cost of desalination is falling as technology improves.

Both of these solutions to the world’s water crisis – the “more crop per drop” approach and the desalination approach – have benefited readers of my Trend Trader portfolio.

The seed company I mentioned earlier that increased yields 25% is in the portfolio. It has already returned 50.07% for my readers in 8 months.

And one of the world’s leading builders of desalination plants is in the portfolio too. It has returned an impressive 61.93% for my readers in only 9 months.

To gain full access to the Trend Trader portfolio, sign up for the Liberty Street Investor here.