Radioactive substances leaking into the Japanese water supply has drawn attention to water in general. According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Water, almost a billion people will not have enough water by the year 2050. This is causing investors to look at desalination, also referred to as desalinization and desalinisation, which could be one of the leading industries in the next decade, along with water purification. Some major companies, such as Siemens (SI) and General Electric (GE) have water desalination divisions that make up a small part of their businesses, but there are other companies which are more of a pure play in the industry.
According to the list of water purification and desalination stocks at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com, there are over 20 companies involved in the treatment of water, and a dozen paying yields above 1%.
Consolidated Water Co. Ltd (CWCO) is one of the purest plays in the sector. It operates seawater desalination plants and other water services in the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, and Bermuda, using reverse osmosis technology to convert seawater to drinkable water. The stock trades at 17 times forward earnings and pays a decent yield of 2.8%. The company has raised its dividend in eight of the last ten years.
Tetra Tech (TTEK) designs and builds desalination systems that use seawater, brackish water, and reclaimed wastewater sources to help increase water supply, and has been designing desalination plants in Florida since the 1990s. It also designed the first California desalination plant, the Corona Temescal Desalter. The stock trades at 15 times forward earnings. Earnings for the latest quarter were up 19% year over year.
Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.