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Planet Water: Investing in the World's Most Valuable Resource


Praise for Planet Water

"Steve Hoffmann has been a contributing editor and Model Water Stock Portfolio manager for our Water Investment Newsletter over the past twelve years. Steve has the education and background in water to understand the dynamics of water and its related sciences. In addition, Steve has the business mind and background to assimilate the two into forecasting investment trends in the water industry. The serious investor who wants to invest in the water market will find this book a must-read to obtain a background in water to help make knowledgeable investment decisions in the water arena."
—Tom Bell, President and Publisher, U.S. Water News

"Timely, provocative, and insightful—Hoffmann provides a much needed dialogue on the looming water crisis. He addresses the necessity for change in our mind-set and prepares us for the challenges that lie ahead."
—Donna Mathern, Financial Analyst

"Planet Water: Investing in the World's Most Valuable Resource beautifully educates and informs readers on the shifting availability and demand for water. A resource taken for granted by many and nicknamed 'liquid gold' by others, it is clear that global demand is putting tremendous stress on current supply and that there simply is no substitute. Steve Hoffmann goes to the heart of the issue and brings to light the challenges and the opportunities ahead for addressing our most precious resource."
—Richard Sootkoos, Managing Partner, Palisades Water Index Associates

"In Planet Water, Steve Hoffmann describes the challenges and opportunities of investing in the water industry from a unique perspective shaped by formal scientific and resource economics training and years of experience consulting with and investing in water-related companies. Regardless of whether he's describing water rate structures, potential technology applications, service solutions, or identifying sector-specific or industry-wide trends, his insights not only advance general understanding of how water permeates every aspect of our lives, but more importantly provide a framework for understanding the relevant investment risks and rewards of the water industry. This book is a valuable resource for investors and industry participants alike."
—Christopher Ward, CFA, Independent Investment Analyst,

former Chief Investment Officer, CALLC

Steve Hoffmann is the founder of WaterTech Capital, a private investment company that specializes exclusively in consulting and investment opportunities within the water industry. With over twenty-five years of experience in the water industry—as a water rate designer, resource economist, entrepreneur, and investor—Hoffmann has witnessed firsthand the dramatic transition of the water business. He was one of the earliest financiers to recognize the potential of water as an investment theme, and has been a contributing editor to the Water Investment Newsletter for more than fourteen years. Hoffmann is also cofounder and principal architect of the Palisades Water Indexes, which serve as the tracking indexes for several leading water ETFs.

Part I. Water.

Chapter 1. Water: Prerequisite for Life, and Living.

Prerequisite for Life.

Prerequisite for Living.

Chapter 2. The Global Water Condition.

The Human Cost of Waterborne Disease.

Supply and Demand.

Regional Fundamentals.

Water Institutions.

Overview of Water Reguation in the United States.

Global Water Regulations.

Non-Governmental Organizations.

The Institutional Impact on Water Investing.

The Role of Water in Economic Growth.

Chapter 3. Public Good, Commodity or Resource?

What Is Water?

Water as a Public (Social) Good.

Water as a Commodity.

The Answer: Water as a Resource.

Chapter 4. The Cost of Clean Water.

How Big Is the Universe?

The Global Cost of Clean Water.

From the Whole to the Parts.

The Transition from Cost to Price.

Part II. Investing in Water.

Chapter 5. The Business of Water.

Water versus Wastewater.

Functional Categories.

Water-Related Applications.

Drivers of the Water Industry.

Chapter 6. Water Utilities.

A Brief History.

Regulatory Providers Face Regulatory Burdens.

Non-Regulated Activities.

The Future of Water Utilities.

Foreign Water Utilities.


Chapter 7. Centralized Water and Wastewater Treatment.

The Basics.

Centralized Treatment.

Treatment Chemicals.

Mixed Oxidants.


Resins: Ion Exchange.

Chapter 8. Decentralized Water and Wastewater Treatment.

Decentralized Treatment.

The Roots of Decentralized Treatment.

Water Softeners and Salinity.

Groundwater Treatment.

Membrane Bioreactors: The Future of Decentralized Treatment.

Chapter 9. Water Infrastructure.

The Distribution System.

Stormwater Infrastructure.

Investment Components.

Pipeline Rehabilitation.

Flow Control and Pumps.

Chapter 10. Water Analytics.


Monitoring, Measuring, and Testing

Asset Management

Chapter 11. Water Resource Management.

Water Resource Management Defined.

The Principle of Sustainability.


Water Supply: Reservoirs and Dams.


Chapter 12. Desalination.

The Promise of Desalination.

The Process of Desalination.

Part III. Water Beyond the 21st Century.

Chapter 13. Emerging Issues.

Unregulated Contaminants.

Biosolids Management: There's Money in Sludge.



Regulating Nonpoint Sources of Water Contamination.

Water Reuse.

Water Conservation.


Algal Toxins.

Measuring Chlorophyll-a.

Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products.

Chapter 14. Water As An Asset Class.

Is Water an Asset Class?

What Is An Asset Class?

Chapter 15. Climate Change and the Hydrologic (Re)Cycle.

Planning for Uncertainty.

Impacts on Water Quality.

Occurrence of Drought.

Investing in Drought.

Chapter 16. Conclusion.

The Windfall Profits Tax…On Water.

The Age of Ecology, Again.

Is Water The Next Oil?

Appendix A. Water Contaminants.

Microbial Contaminant Candidates.

Chemical Contaminant Candidates or CCL3 Candidates.

Appendix B. Acronyms.

Appendix C. Conversions.


About the Author.