We wrote recently about water as an investment. As we noted in that article, water covers seventy percent of the earth and exists in huge quantities. Water fit to drink is relatively scarce and becoming scarcer due to world population growth and pollution. Our focus in that article was mostly on statistics regarding drinkable water, its uses (not just to drink), and the problems caused by its scarcity. In this article we look at how to invest in water in terms of the types of investments and specific companies that are likely to profit as drinking water becomes scarcer. Specifically we look at how to invest in water treatment.
Where Is Water Scarce?
For investing purposes, think of water as a commodity like wheat, oil, or strategic minerals. The first thing is to identify where water shortage problems have already occurred. As noted in the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, major areas of water risk are found in much of Africa, Australia, the Southwestern USA, Mexico, the Middle East including Israel and extending to Egypt and Pakistan as well as India. China also has water shortage issues making the world’s two most populous nations part of the list of where water investments could be targeted.
Where Is Water Polluted?
A big part of the water scarcity issue is based on pollution. Two common sources of water pollution are agriculture and municipal waste.
Types of Water Investments – Extraction of Nitrogen Compounds from Water
Fertilizers pollute ground water. The Green Revolution brought us more productive crop varieties but also crops that need more fertilizer. Excessive amounts of nitrogen compounds such as ammonium (NH4+) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) from fertilizers pollute groundwater to the point where it is undrinkable. The same issue exists in wastewater processed by municipal water treatment plants. Water treatment processes that remove nitrogen compounds from wastewater can also be adapted to remove nitrogen from polluted drinking water. Such processes will have commercial application worldwide.
Anammox Treatment Process for Nitrogen Compound Wastewater Elimination
A practical solution currently being tested is called Anammox which stands for Anerobic Ammonium Oxidation. This process appears to be energy efficient and converts polluting nitrogen compounds into water and nitrogen gas. The process requires a bacteria, Candidtus Brocadia anammoxidans, but requires a reactor in which to carry out the process. This is the sort of technology that has investment potential worldwide.
Commercial Use of Anammox Process
Kurita announced Japan’s first commercial Anammox process for wastewater treatment in 2017. It trades as an over the counter stock in the USA, OTCMKTS: KTWIY. It started US trading in 2020 at $41 a share and now trades at $91.20 a share. In Japan, its stock rose nearly two and a half times in price since its 2017 announcement of its successful Anammox process. Here is a list of other companies that use the anammox process or market products that apply to this process as well as offering a range of water processing services.
List of Companies Using Anammox Treatment Process
Hydromantis Environmental Software Solutions, Inc.
Wuxi BioCell Environmental Technology Co., Ltd.
Jiangxi JDL Environmental Protection Co., Ltd
S.K. Euromarket Ltd
Veolia Water Technologies
MUTAG (Multi Umwelttechnologie AG)
LEVAPOR GmbH, Biofilm Technologies
Transcend Cleantec Pvt. Ltd.
Passavant Impianti Spa
Hydroitalia – Colsen Srl
Colsen International b.v.
Ace Water Pte Ltd
Rekas Water Treatment Projects
Envirotek Aritma Teknolojileri Sanayi Ve Tic. A.S.
United Arab Emirates
Process & Control Technologies, Inc.
Michell Instruments Ltd (Process Sensing Technologies (PST))
Goble Sampson Associates, Inc.
Tomorrow Water (BKT Co. Ltd.)
Geovation Engineering, P.C.
JBI Water & Wastewater
SUEZ Water Technologies & Solutions
Microbe Detectives, LLC
Multinational companies with a huge presence in advanced treatment processes for wastewater control include Hitachi.
How to Invest in Water Treatment – SlideShare Version