Who stops flushing their toilet in a recession? If you answered "me," then please go flush first before you come back to read this article.
Besides their obvious stability, water companies have an underground catalyst: ancient pipes. The U.S. is chock-full of decrepit water and sewage pipes -- some wooden -- that need to be replaced. Additionally, cash-strapped municipalities are hawking their utilities to capable private water companies like Aqua America (NYSE: WTR ) . Aqua America in particular has been buying up smaller utilities to boost its growth rate.
Other utilities include York Water (Nasdaq: YORW ) and California Water (NYSE: CWT ) . A more aggressive play could be hard-goods maker Mueller Water Products (NYSE: MWA ) , while international investors may want to peck at a larger conglomerate such as Veolia (NYSE: VE ) or GDF Suez spinoff Suez Environment.
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