In Yemen, Mohammed Nasser has had to change his way of life, abandoning traditional customs of hosting passer-by or politicians, now unable to supply essentials for his own family because of the water shortage affecting agriculture. Almigdad Mojalli for Yemen Times reports that 10 years ago, water was plentiful. Now, of the 20 wells that used to supply the village’s water, only two are functioning.
A bit closer to home, Tim Teichgraeber for decanter reports that April frosts have caused widespread damage to vines in Northern California, and now a water shortage has hampered sprinkler usage in an effort to salvage them. Some of the more vulnerable vineyards are those that lack overhead sprinklers which protect the vines when temperatures go below freezing. Some sprinklers have used up the entire water supply for the season, too.
Around the world, in New South Wales, Australia, the drought is also taking a significant toll. The dams that supply water for irrigation to the large crops are dried up, causing many farmers to go without crops, and therefore, without income. Australia’s failed rice crop will also affect the cereal and grain crop, reports Asa Wahlquist for The Australian.
The rice shortage has led to rationing in the United States and riots in Haiti and Egypt.
However, water is not quite like the other commodities, and has its own
special set of circumstances. It’s not priced on a global market, it’s heavy and transporting it costs more than it’s worth.
Water ETFs currently available are:
- PowerShares Water Resources (PHO), down 4.1% year-to-date
- Powershares Global Water (PIO), down 10% year-to-date
- Claymore S&P Global Water (CGW), down 5.6% year-to-date
- First Trust ISE Water (FIW), down 1.4% year-to-date
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.