Why You Need To Invest In Water Infrastructure

by: Tortoise


Overarching message from The Global Water Summit: water investment is needed now.

Two areas of investment opportunities where water can meet money.

Two-thirds of conference-goers believe digitalization of the water industry is transformational.

The future for re-used water as a source of supply is bright.

“Water meets Money” was the subtitle to the recent The Global Water Summit held in Paris. It is the leading water industry conference, where water business leaders, industrial water users, utility managers, water technology providers and investors came together to discuss, create and share ideas that could shape the future for the world’s most essential commodity.

One message was clear throughout the conference: water investment is needed now.

Excitement was evidenced by attendance increasing approximately 10% from the prior year, with one speaker noting that the sector is near an inflection point of investment as the global water crisis is unfolding today as seen in Cape Town and will continue to worsen without action taken now.

Two areas of investment stood out as what we believe to be the best opportunities where water can meet money today:

• The first is the digitalization of the water industry

• The second is the adoption of water reuse

Let’s start with the digitalization of the water industry. A technological revolution is occurring in the water sector that is driving increased use of data. Data capture and analytics are enabling the industry to make more informed and optimized decisions. The impact of digital solutions is substantial, particularly for capital constrained water utilities that currently lose billions of gallons of water around the globe every day. At Tortoise, we believe that by implementing a smart water network, the leading digital solution in the industry, water utilities could benefit as smart water networks improve operational efficiencies and maximize supply through a reduction in water loss.

Let’s zero in on a few key benefits of smart water networks that were highlighted by the conference speakers. These benefits include a 75% reduction in water loss as smart meters identify leaks in real time; 80-90% reduction in capital cost for a project as smart meters identify specific areas of improvement; and ultimately, an improved customer experience and lower tariff increases due to the efficient capital spend. The excitement surrounding the digitalization of the industry is notable as a conference poll indicated that approximately two-thirds of conference attendees believe that the digitalization of the industry is transformational.

Shifting gears, the second major area of investment opportunity is the adoption of water reuse. Whether its industry members or established water utilities, we think the future for re-used water as a source of supply is bright as it is the cheapest alternative to traditional water supply today.

Industry appears particularly interested in water reuse as companies look to implement sustainability programs and secure water supply in an increasingly water scarce environment. In fact, there was more industrial interest this year than previous conferences. The opportunity is not lost on the water sector as almost two-thirds of attendees believe that industrial water is a huge opportunity according to a poll conducted at the conference.

Industry is not alone in adopting water reuse. Utilities are excited about this form of alternative supply as well. At the summit, the general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which provides water to 19 million people from Los Angeles to San Diego counties, provided an example of a water utility turning to water reuse. In its long-term plan, this water district plans to increase groundwater recovery and recycling from 7% of water supply in 1990 to 35% by 2040.

With industrial water users and utilities shifting to water reuse, we believe the trend is clear - water reuse will continue to grow.

Let’s leave you with a quote from a utility board member that was shared at the conference. He explained, “Every generation should plan for their water supply being cut in half.

Disclaimer: Nothing contained in this communication constitutes tax, legal, or investment advice. Investors must consult their tax advisor or legal counsel for advice and information concerning their particular situation. This article contains certain statements that may include “forward-looking statements.” All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included herein are “forward-looking statements.” Although Tortoise believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, they do involve assumptions, risks and uncertainties, and these expectations may prove to be incorrect. Actual events could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of a variety of factors. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. This article reflects our views and opinions as of the date herein, which are subject to change at any time based on market and other conditions. We disclaim any responsibility to update these views. These views should not be relied on as investment advice or an indication of trading intention.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.