Amongst the turmoil of the global economic meltdown, there must be a safe bet to hedge your investments for the future. Many people run to gold, but I am betting on water.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote, “Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. The English poet was ahead of his time.
Ninety-seven percent of the planets’ water is salty. Of the remaining three percent, most is locked in the ice caps and lies under ground. Only 0.3 percent is in lakes and rivers.
It is the same water the dinosaurs drank and look what happened to them.
We don’t really know what happened to the mega-lizards but we do know that in this part of the world, water is scare.
Recently I have been driving past the Mariutiya Canal in Nazlet El Samman, the baladi street that you turn off to reach the stables at the Pyramids and the Sphinx.
Pieces of rubbish flow along with the Nile water that looks reasonably clean. It is used for irrigation not drinking, washing or bathing.
But for a couple of billion people in the world, the Mariutiya Canal would be an oasis, compared to their usual infected pools of diarrhea producing bacteria, from which about three million die each year.
Now, I know diarrhea and tummy problems are common enough in Cairo, especially amongst expatriates – who are always driving the porcelain bus through the night. But for the most part, as far as the developing world goes, I think Cairo is reasonably well placed with clean running water.
They think so in Arabia, where there is a saying; “We would swap all our oil for Egypt’s water.
Why you ask with the price of sweet crude as it is? Because water is sustainable. Oil, like the dinosaurs, is here for now. But when our descendants look back in millions of years, the oil industry may be viewed along the same reptilian lines.
I heard recently one of those sweet platitudes; “We don’t inherit the Earth from our father, we borrow it from our children.
Investment is what the future is about. So disregarding the water wars that no doubt are inevitable, which Mark Twain quipped; “Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over. It is time one’s portfolio reflected some clear clean water stocks.
The Oxford Club financial newsletter probably says it best: “Investors who put $10,000 dollars in Consolidated Water (NASDAQ: CWCO) in 2000 banked a cool $71,061.43 by February of 2006.
“Water has to be moved, as well. and the lucky few who invested $10,000 in the IPO of American Commercial Lines (NASDAQ: ACLI) in the early part of 2005 would have made more than 310 percentby May of 2006.
These are just two examples of how water, which sells for twice the price of gasoline in the US, may well be the hottest investment in the 21st century.
Forty percent of the world’s population does not have access to fresh water and the global population is expected to increase by two billion in the decade. It is a simple matter of supply and demand.
Into the equation you add global warming and what does everyone need in the heat? Cold fresh water.
Recent food price hikes around the globe were partly due to the lack of water in food growing regions and obviously, food plus water are basic human needs.
We can do without our electronic gadgets, fancy cars and clothes, but not clean water.
Do you get the picture, water is the future. Egypt has the Nile, well part of it, and others will pay twice the price of gasoline for it.
Yep, it isn’t rocket science, as the Oxford Club newsletter says:
“Investing in water stocks is a smart play all around for those seeking constant, stable returns. Global Summit Management (SGM) reports that from 2000 to 2005, water utility stocks returned 134.57 percent, while the S&P 500 clocked in at a mere 2.74 percent.
And those who invested in water stocks for a 10-year period were even happier. The stocks banked 446.01 percent from 1995 to 2005, versus 9.06 percent in the S&P.
Coleridge may have been wrong about water being everywhere, but he was right, that for many there is not a drop to drink.