It's hard to overstate the horrible water challenges that loom over our planet. But some private industry players are becoming a part of the solution, and thus positioning themselves for long-term success. Xylem (NYSE:XYL), Ecolab (NYSE:ECL), and Veolia Environnement (NASDAQOTH:VEOEY) are all taking leadership roles in tackling the complex issues that make water scarcity such a pernicious problem.

Water = life blood
Let's consider just a few sobering truths -- and remember, we humans can't survive without water:

  • Earlier in October, the United Nations released projections that one in every two people on earth will endure some form of water scarcity by 2030 .
  • More and more experts are linking regional conflicts and instability to underlying water issues .
  • The World Bank estimates the cost of China's water problems at 2.3% of its GDP, and the country still hasn't arrived at the official definition of "water stressed ." (At the rate it's going, it will soon.)

Corporations to the rescue?
The private sector is well aware of the threat this situation poses to their business operations, for a whole lot of reasons. Many are not sitting by idly. Consider initiatives like the new EKOCENTER project, through which Coca-Cola and its industry partners are delivering clean drinking water to communities where it's scarce. Believe me, these companies are involved in such projects because it's in their best interest.

Xylem, Ecolab, and Veolia are all water solutions providers, so they're doubly interested in this important issue. But there are plenty of water companies out there, and not all of them are showing the kind of leadership that these three are. Watch the video below to learn about how Xylem, Ecolab, and Veolia are helping to set the world's water agenda. That's just good business.


 

Sara Murphy has no position in any stocks mentioned. Follow her on Twitter @SMurphSmiles. The Motley Fool recommends Veolia Environnement (ADR). The Motley Fool owns shares of Ecolab. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.