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Obama's $280 Million Water Technology Investment

The EPA Estimates Billions Still Needed

Written by Keith Kohl
Posted March 15, 2016

It's a disaster waiting to happen...

Exasperated by bungling bureaucrats and praetorian politicians...

America's water infrastructure is on its last legs.

And billions will have to be spent over the next several years for maintenance alone.

That means water infrastructure and technology investments will pay off.

And the U.S. government's spending spree has just begun...

President Obama's proposed 2017 budget includes nearly $280 million to protect and increase the nation's water supply through investment in water technology.

Here's how the money is proposed to be spent:

  • $98.6 million for the Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART program through the USGS and the Bureau of Reclamation, which promotes water conservation initiatives and technological breakthroughs. This request is $10.3 million above the 2016 budget.
  • $4 million of new funding at USGS for near real-time assessment of water use during drought, which provides a regional and national picture of how water use is changing during drought.
  • $28.6 million to support R&D at the Bureau of Reclamation. These funds include $8.5 million for the water technology solutions challenge program, an ambitious technology challenge prize focused on next-generation advanced water-treatment technologies; $5.8 million for desalination and water purification; and $2 million to continue the Open Water Data initiative to improve accessibility of data. This request is $8.6 million above the 2016 budget.
  • $25 million in new funding for DOE to launch a new Energy-Water Desalination Hub focused on developing technologies to reduce the cost, energy input, and carbon emission levels of desalination. DOE would also invest nearly $20 million in complementary R&D on desalination technologies relevant to fossil, concentrated solar power, and geothermal applications.
  • $15 million in additional funding for USDA intramural research on safe and abundant water supplies to support U.S. agricultural production and agricultural practices that conserve water, such as building healthy soils that retain water. The agriculture sector is the largest consumer of fresh water in the United States.
  • $88 million for NSF to support basic water research. The investment would enhance the scientific and engineering knowledge base and enable new technological solutions that will increase the Nation’s water supply and the quality of potable water and clean water for use in agriculture and industry processes or cooling.

Infrastructure Fortunes

But all this is just a drop in the bucket.

The EPA estimates over $600 billion is needed for water infrastructure improvements over the next 20 years.

Regardless, that's a lot of money. But finding it will be easy. Consider this...

On average, Americans only spend about $0.25 daily per person for water.

Water is perhaps the most vital component to life. Are you willing to pay $0.50 a day for it? How about $1.00 a day?

And sure, I'm now talking about quadrupling water bills. But in the big picture, an individual paying $365 a year for water is still an incredible deal.

I mean, if I had the option to either go out and find clean water to use myself or pay someone $365 a year to deliver it to my house, there's no doubt I'd take the delivery.

So the money will be available.

And the investors who hold positions in the right water technology and infrastructure stocks will be the ones who profit most.

Stay tuned to Energy and Capital for much more on water investments. We plan to bring you several different water investing ideas and angles over the next several weeks.

Until next time,

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Keith Kohl

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A true insider in the energy markets, Keith is one of few financial reporters to have visited the Alberta oil sands. His research has helped thousands of investors capitalize from the rapidly changing face of energy. Keith connects with hundreds of thousands of readers as the Managing Editor of Energy & Capital as well as Investment Director of Angel Publishing's Energy Investor. For years, Keith has been providing in-depth coverage of the Bakken, the Haynesville Shale, and the Marcellus natural gas formations — all ahead of the mainstream media. For more on Keith, go to his editor's page.

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