A Monster Tech Investing Trend Making Huge Progress

drheroImagePhone
Reddit

The poisoning of the residents of Flint, Michigan by lead leaching out of the city’s aged water pipes was a warning: The world, including the US, is entering a new and alarming dimension of a clean water crisis.

I wrote in my book Trends 2000 more than 20 years ago, and have forecast repeatedly since, that the production and delivery of clean, safe water is among the most powerful and enduring global trends affecting populations worldwide.

The water crisis isn’t only driven by droughts. The crisis is now exasperated by the thousands of municipalities with water systems a century or more old.

A report published in early 2016 in the Journal — American Water Works Association estimates that more than six million lead water pipes in the US alone still link city water mains to homes where as many as 22 million people live.

But the problem isn’t just lead in the pipes. The pipes themselves are getting older.

Significant portions of most US municipal water systems are more than 100 years old. There are about 240,000 water main breaks in the US each year. The American Society of Civil

Engineers rates the US public water system every four years and consistently assigns it a grade of ‘D’.

These antiquated systems leak an estimated 14–18% of the water traveling through them — some systems, such as Flint’s, are estimated to lose up to 40%.

That not only wastes water and, therefore, money, but also creates low-pressure spots where contamination can infiltrate the grid — and there’s plenty of that going on.

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s most recent annual compliance report for public water supplies logged 16,802 ‘significant violations’ of national drinking water safety standards. More than 47% of the violations were in the form of bacteria.

Some of the easiest ways to save water are to simply repair leaks and use available technology to monitor underground pipes to find where the worst leaks are. Regulating water use is a common tool.

The Aussie Recession Survival Guide: How to protect your wealth in a fast-shrinking economy
Daily Reckoning Free Report

In this urgent investor report, Daily Reckoning editor Greg Canavan shows you why Australia is poised to fall into its first ‘official’ recession in 25 years…

Simply enter your email address in the box below and click ‘Claim My Free Report’. Plus… you’ll receive a free subscription to The Daily Reckoning.

We will collect and handle your personal information in accordance with our Privacy Policy. You can cancel your subscription at any time.

Governments are trying a variety of ways to solve those problems. Some cash-strapped cities are turning to private water companies to help out.

But thanks to mismanagement, and private companies’ exploitation of monopoly power, efforts to ease the water crisis haven’t always worked well.

So increasingly, technology is stepping in with its own answers.

Some solutions are simple. For instance, coastal areas are setting up ‘fog nets’ to collect condensation from the morning’s dew.

A teenager from Nashua, New Hampshire, worked with a mentor at 3M to devise a way to use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to create chemical reactions that kill waterborne bacteria.

Design Technology and Irrigation, a British firm, has developed an underground irrigation system that brings ocean or briny water direct to farm fields in the Middle East.

The dirty water travels through pipes buried in the fields. The pipe lets water vapour pass through but traps salts and other contaminants on the inside. The vapour passes through the pipe into the soil, where it condenses back into water that plant roots can absorb.

Desalinating seawater, an energy-intensive operation, is becoming more feasible as solar-powered facilities are replacing diesel-fired plants. Saudi Arabia is a leading developer of this technology.

These last two projects could make their way to the US.

On the broader global scale, the growing risk of safe water shortages will require countries to focus on new approaches to basic water stewardship, including replacing leaky urban water mains and building or improving underground storage facilities.

That will increasingly include private entrepreneurs and investors joining with public water supply and management entities to develop the best solutions. There will also be plenty of potential profits along the way.

Regards,

Gerald Celente,
For The Daily Reckoning, Australia

Publisher’s Note: Gerald Celente is founder and director of The Trends Research Institute, author of Trends 2000 and Trend Tracking (Warner Books), and publisher of The Trends Journal. He has been forecasting trends since 1980, and recently called ‘The Collapse of ’09.’

Gerald Celente
Gerald Celente is founder and director of The Trends Research Institute, author of Trends 2000 and Trend Tracking (Warner Books), and publisher of The Trends Journal. He has been forecasting trends since 1980, and recently called “The Collapse of ’09.”
Reddit

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar
wpDiscuz
Letters will be edited for clarity, punctuation, spelling and length. Abusive or off-topic comments will not be posted. We will not post all comments.
If you would prefer to email the editor, you can do so by sending an email to letters@dailyreckoning.com.au