Usually when the talk shifts to resources where demand outstrips supply, the focus is oil or precious metals, but there is another resource that is finding its way into these discussions - clean water.

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Two-thirds of the Earth's surface is covered by water, but only a fraction of that is potable. While desalinization efforts may help satisfy some of the demand, increasing population and pollution has made water a very fragile and important resource.

Another factor to consider is the high cost to tap sub-surface water supplies, and to create the infrastructure necessary to transport it to remote areas. Unfortunately, this makes accessing and distributing water quite difficult for struggling economies. Companies that treat waste water are also important because they play a major role in keeping our environment clean and preventing transmittable diseases. Investors may get in on the demand for clean water by investing in this resource.

SEE: Water: The Ultimate Commodity

Water Stocks to Know
The following is a list of larger, better known public companies that provide water services or wastewater treatment:

Company Market Capitalization
American Water Works Company(NYSE:AWK) 5.96B
Aqua America Inc. (NYSE:WTR) 3.39B
California Water Service Group (NYSE:CWT) 753.91M
American States Water Company (NYSE:AWR) 728.86M
SJW Corp. (NYSE:SJW) 446.11M
Data as of 6/19/2012

Bottom Line
The growing world population means that companies that process, deliver and/or transport water will always be in high demand. The stocks covered here are definitely worthy of follow up research for investors looking to capitalize on the attractive long term fundamentals that exist with water.

SEE: Cashing In On Macroeconomic Trends

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