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With global demand for water expected to explode in the coming years, fund managers are recommending investing in the space as a long-term bet on an essential commodity whose supplies are limited.

World Water Day has triggered a flurry of reports on and analyses of the challenge facing many countries as incidents of drought increase and climate change makes dry regions even drier.

The United Nations World Water Development report for 2018, published earlier this week, warns that almost 6 billion people are likely to live in areas that suffer water shortages for at least one month a year by 2050, up from 3.6 billion today.

The dire situation facing Cape Town, South Africa, a city of 4 million, has further highlighted the problem.

Cape Town is gearing up for Day Zero, a date in the future when it is expected to turn off its municipal water supply, which has dwindled to life-threatening levels after a prolonged drought.

There are different ways to invest in water, starting with simply buying the shares of those companies that make everything from pipes, pumps, meters, filters and other equipment and infrastructure, to investments in the water utilities and environmental-services companies that clean, purify and distribute it.

“Technological advances are changing the ways in which water is managed and used, giving rise to a range of investment opportunities,” said Hubert Aarts, Impax Asset Management Ltd, Portfolio Manager, Pax Global Environmental Markets Fund “Crises can act as catalysts for corporates, governments, and broader society to focus on building resilient water systems.

’s free newsletters."data-newsletterpromo-image="https://static.scientificamerican.com/sciam/cache/file/458BF87F-514B-44EE-B87F5D531772CF83_source.png"data-newsletterpromo-button-text="Sign Up"data-newsletterpromo-button-link="https:// origincode=2018_sciam_Article Promo_Newsletter Sign Up"itemprop="article Body"By M. In explanation, she pointed to the peeling paint on her old house.

As he played, she scolded him for putting his fingers in his mouth.

JOSEPH, Missouri (Reuters) - On a sunny November afternoon in this historic city, birthplace of the Pony Express and death spot of Jesse James, Lauranda Mignery watched her son Kadin, 2, dig in their front yard.

Kadin, she said, has been diagnosed with lead poisoning.

He has lots of company: Within 15 blocks of his house, at least 120 small children have been poisoned since 2010, making the neighborhood among the most toxic in Missouri, Reuters found as part of an analysis of childhood lead testing results across the country. Joseph, even a local pediatrician's children were poisoned.