Editor's Note: This post has been modified to better discuss Pall (NYSE:PLL)'s business model.
As common as water is and all the everyday uses it has, the taken-for-granted posture of most people keeps this crucial resource out of mind for seeking profits.
According to a Congressional Budget Office report created in 2002, the average annual investment in water and wastewater infrastructure is estimated between $11.6 billion to $20.1 billion for drinking water and $13.0 billion to $20.9 billion for wastewater systems. This study was based on a period between 2000 and 2019.
The Department of Homeland Security has a strong interest in preserving this precious resource. Drinking water has to be protected from harmful toxic substances, and wastewater systems have to be preserved to reduce the spread of disease.
An investment strategy that is specifically designed to focus on this is the First Trust ISE Water index fund. This is an exchange-traded fund that was created on May 11, 2007 and holds 37 stocks that are participants in water and wastewater industries. Below is a one-year price chart.
Demand and infrastructure
According to Boonsri Dickinson, who commented on water demand and supply on Smart Planet, in 20 years water demand will exceed supply by 40%. In her commentary are statements that 90% of the water supply is used to produce food and energy. The amount of water it takes to make a computer is 1.5 tons, and it requires 6 tons to make a pair of jeans. Water used in the production of goods has been coined “virtual water.” Factors such as population growth and climate change are cited behind this demand increase.
Affecting the wastewater side of this concern are extreme weather events that are impacting systems and resources used to combat the spreading of disease. The increasingly unpredictable global weather patterns are straining these systems. The need for increased infrastructure investment to build new facilities and strengthen existing ones is prevalent.
Capitalizing on this trend
As you can see above, there are plenty of reasons to consider the First Trust ISE Water index fund as a packaged investment focused on this perceived dilemma. One of the stocks held in this ETF is Pentair, Ltd. Registered Share (NYSE:PNR). Pentair, Ltd. Registered Share (NYSE:PNR) is a Swiss industrial company that manufactures equipment and systems for water and other fluids on a global scale. One of the operating segments, water and fluid solutions, is dedicated to this long-term demand. Pentair, Ltd. Registered Share (NYSE:PNR) recognizes this upcoming crisis and is committed to increasing access to water on a global scale by doing more that producing superior products and industry expertise.