It takes 35 gallons of water to make one cup of coffee. Why? All the water used to cultivate the coffee beans. Similarly, it can take about 635 gallons to make one hamburger because of all the water required to grow feed for the cows.
The need for clean fresh water is increasing rapidly, too, as populations rise and standards of living improve around the world. In some places — such as central California, the North China Plains, and parts of India — the demand for water is already outstripping the local supply.
Because global water consumption is expected to increase by 40% over the next 20 years, water shortages may get more acute and more widespread, spurring more reliance on desalination technologies, water reuse, and conservation. The results could have massive economic, ecological, and geopolitical consequences, creating investing opportunities in places you may never have considered.