Why invest in water?

Summer 2020

About 70% of the earth's surface is covered in water. Most of it—97%—is salt water that's unfit for human consumption, crop irrigation and most industrial uses. Of the remaining 3% of the world's water resources, only about 1% is readily available for human usenote1.

Water is as essential to businesses as it is to sustaining all life on Earth.

In fact, UNESCO estimates that around 75% of the global workforce is moderately or heavily dependent on water. Water and access to water are drivers for both economic growth and the improvement of human healthnote2. All the more reason to protect and manage this precious resource.

There are multiple ways for companies to work on solving these water-related issues.

  1. Expanding access to water: to bring clean water to areas and populations who don't have access to it.
  2. Improving water-supply efficiency: by building better infrastructure, reducing water waste and leaks.
  3. Improving water quality: to improve human health outcomes.

Companies that are part of the solution

You can find many companies whose products and services revolve around the water theme in our SocieTerra responsible investment (RI) funds. In their own way, each one is helping preserve and manage water in a responsible, sustainable and profitable way. Here are some examples.

Improving resource management

Company: Trimble

Trimble provides mobile worker solutions, remote monitoring technology, and management services and support for critical water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.

Trimble’s products use software to help farmers develop more sustainable and efficient practices. The products make it possible to incorporate key data, such as location, weather conditions, the amount of water available, soil characteristics and crop yields in order to optimize the use of resources like water and fertilizers. Their precision-agriculture solutions ensure that fields are watered only where and when needed, increasing crop yields by up to 30% and water efficiency by up to 20%note3.

This company is part of:

Desjardins SocieTerra Cleantech Fund


Expanding water supply

Company: Xylem

Xylem is a Fortune 1000 global water technology provider with one mission: to help customers solve water-related issues through the power of technology and expertise.

Xylem makes and provides water equipment and services, such as pumps, filters and testing instruments. Their products and services improve access to clean, safe and affordable water. They work on different water treatment technologies, including desalinization. They also collect and treat wastewater before it's released back into nature.

This company is part of:

Desjardins SocieTerra American Equity Fund


Boosting supply efficiency

Company: Ecolab

Ecolab is the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services. They help customers address their cleaning, sanitizing, food safety, and water and energy management needs.

Ecolab's wastewater treatment solutions help companies reduce toxic outputs that result from their processes. In 2018, Ecolab helped customers save 712 billion litres of water— enough drinking water for 975 million adultsnote4.

This company is part of:

Desjardins SocieTerra Positive Change Fund


Improving water quality

Company: Coway

Coway is the leading water and air purifier supplier in South Korea. Their products improve access to clean and safe water for millions of clients.

Coway relies on a solid research and development infrastructure to reach foreign markets. Their main products are home wellness appliances, including air purifiers, water purifiers, bidets and juicers. Based on their internationally integrated brand, "Coway," they are accelerating their overseas business through active cooperation for sales with global home appliances manufacturers. Currently, with operations in the US, Malaysia, China and Thailand, they are developing products and services and implementing marketing strategies to meet local needs, thereby achieving sustainable growth.

This company is part of:

Desjardins SocieTerra Cleantech Fund


  1. 1. Source: U.S. Geological Survey. "How Much Water is There on Earth?" Accessed March 24, 2020.
  2. 2. Source: UNESCO. Water drives job creation and economic growth, says new UN report., https://en.unesco.org/news/water-drives-job-creation-and-economic-growth-says-new-report
  3. 3. Source: https://www.trimble.com/Corporate/RCC/Our-Solutions.aspx
  4. 4. Source: Positive Change Impact report, Full year 2018. P.14

The information provided in this document is for illustration and discussion purposes only. It should not be considered as investment advice or as recommendations for securities transactions or specific investment strategies. This document should in no case be considered or used for the purpose of buying units in a fund or any other offer of securities, regardless of jurisdiction.

Desjardins Funds are not guaranteed, their value fluctuates frequently, and their past performance is not indicative of their future returns. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Desjardins Funds are offered by registered dealers.