Thanks to climate change, the next forefront for environmental, social and governance investing could be water.
It won’t be easy. Water is a fragmented market and is highly regulated by municipalities, agricultural and environmental interests. In the U.S., land rights and water rights go together, unlike in other countries such as Australia, where investors can buy those separately.
There are few simple ways to invest. Until two years ago, there was no futures market for water, unlike other commodities such as corn, crude oil or gold. And the contract barely trades.
There’s also been little investment incentive. In North America, the cost to extract, clean and deliver water has been quite low for so long, says Matt Howard, vice president of water stewardship for The Water Council, a nonprofit organization that helps companies address water challenges.
Read more in this MarketWatch article by Debbie Carlson, which quotes Matt Howard, vice president of water stewardship, on water investing and what ESG investors should watch out for when it comes to public companies and water.