Lemon Tree

Las Vegas Indoor Agriculture Opportunity

Las Vegas seems like an unlikely place to think of sustainable farming; we have little water, the soil is sandy and it’s wretchedly hot for parts of the year. Yet, it is for these very reasons that the city is well suited to indoor agriculture…. Read More

Desalination no panacea for California water woes

“We found that our demand for water had dropped so much since the time we started exploring desalination, we didn’t need the water”

Libby Pischel, Marin Municipal Water District

Plans for 17 planned Californian desalination plants are being stymied by a conservation and recession-induced demand falls, capital costs and regulatory delays.  Full Article Here

Water Desalinization Spreads to $17 Billion Market

A new report forecasts a tripling of the desalinization equipment market over the next five years, driven in part the lower equipment costs that new market entrants are bringing with them. Full article here According to the report “investment in installations that make drinking water from the sea will jump to a record in 2016…


Water Scarcity’s Impact on Farmland Prices

Last week, I got present to the AgReturn conference on the impact of water scarcity on farmland returns and inflation hedges.  It’s a tricky subject matter given that there’s little in the way of academic research on the subject and the intuitive response – that less water means less return and a poorer inflation hedge…


Copyright Real Assets Junkie

What Happens to Formerly Hip Cleantech Cos?

At a time when we’re seeing a shakeout in the first wave of solar companies, it seemed appropriate to take a look at what happens to the formerly-hip in renewable energy.  Which sectors are no longer feeling the love? Each year, the Cleantech Group, an independent research company, conducts a survey to elect a Cleantech…


The Curious Rise of Real Asset ETFs

Five years ago, it was a pain in the neck to put together a real assets portfolio from public equities because there were so few easy proxies to use. All of the interesting ETFs seemed to be listed in Europe, thanks in part to the work of innovators such as ETF Securities. In my first…


Image Courtesy of Salida Citizen

WaterSmart Gets First Funding Round

Congrats to my buddies at WaterSmart on their first round of funding – from DFJ, Menlo Ventures, Physic Ventures and Sand Hill Angels.  WaterSmart is developing an OPower for water; they were runners up in the ImagineH2O competition a couple of years’ back and have been bootstrapping the company to great success since then. Their…


Tai Tam Reservoir, Copyright Nicola Kerslake

Nestle Wants to Trade Water

Last week, Nestle – the multinational consumer goods firm – announced that it wanted to start trading water.  Naturally, this raised eyebrows from those who remember the firm as much for the baby milk scandal and local water rights issues as for its consumer goods.  They assume that it must be up to something evil.…