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Water Is Everyone's Business As World Population Tops Seven Billion

As many as one billion people may not have access to clean drinking water by 2050. Changes are needed, which may also create investment opportunities.

Water Drop
Water Drop
Kim Cramer Larsson

SANTIAGO - As the world's population grows, the demand for drinkable water grows with it. By 2050, it is projected that one billion people will not have full access to this fundamental resource.

Recent statistics and projections from the United Nations are cause for real concern. In 2050, the global population, which is now beyond seven billion inhabitants, should reach 10 billion, with a predicted 10% of them -- at current rates of access -- who will be shut off from proper drinking water.

At current rates, the per capita daily use of water in the U.S. is 600 liters . In China, the number is much lower, with only 90 liters a day consumed by each person, even though that number is beginning to rise. According to Fortune magazine, the demand for water in India will double in 10 years, and for agriculture it will increase by more than 40% by 2030.

Globally, the use of water in agriculture represents 71%, while for industry it's another 16%. Some 270 liters of water are needed to produce a cup of coffee – from cultivation until the cup of java is sold at Starbucks. The production of a glass of juice requires 7,000 liters while a pair of jeans needs 11,000 liters.

Meanwhile, climate change and pollution have turned water into an increasingly scarce resource. Putting it bluntly, water politics is heating up, and will only get hotter.

Can investors benefit from the current state of water demand and resources? Will individuals begin conserving water in order to save money? Looking around, there are indeed some companies in the water distribution business worth investing in.

At the same time, you could also invest in companies dedicated to the creation of infrastructures, water management as a resource, water bottling, and even a collective investment fund that invests in these type of companies such as Power Shares Water Resources, Guggenheim S&P Global Water Index and PowerShares Global Water.

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Ideas

Joshimath, The Sinking Indian City Has Also Become A Hotbed Of Government Censorship

The Indian authorities' decision to hide factual reports on the land subsidence in Joshimath only furthers a sense of paranoia.

Photo of people standing next to a cracked road in Joshimath, India

Cracked road in Joshimath

@IndianCongressO via Twitter
Rohan Banerjee*

MUMBAI — Midway through the movie Don’t Look Up (2021), the outspoken PhD candidate Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) is bundled into a car, a bag over her head. The White House, we are told, wants her “off the grid”. She is taken to a warehouse – the sort of place where CIA and FBI agents seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in Hollywood movies – and charged with violating national security secrets.

The Hobson’s choice offered to her is to either face prosecution or suspend “all public media appearances and incendiary language relating to Comet Dibiasky”, an interstellar object on a collision course with earth. Exasperated, she acquiesces to the gag order.

Don’t Look Upis a satirical take on the collective apathy towards climate change; only, the slow burn of fossil fuel is replaced by the more imminent threat of a comet crashing into our planet. As a couple of scientists try to warn humanity about its potential extinction, they discover a media, an administration, and indeed, a society that is not just unwilling to face the truth but would even deny it.

This premise and the caricatured characters border on the farcical, with plot devices designed to produce absurd scenarios that would be inconceivable in the real world we inhabit. After all, would any government dealing with a natural disaster, issue an edict prohibiting researchers and scientists from talking about the event? Surely not. Right?

On January 11, the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), one of the centers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), issued a preliminary report on the land subsidence issue occurring in Joshimath, the mountainside city in the Himalayas.

The word ‘subsidence’ entered the public lexicon at the turn of the year as disturbing images of cracked roads and tilted buildings began to emanate from Joshimath.

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