Stock Quotes in this Article: CWCO, GE, SI, TTEK

 As a resident of California, I am very aware of the issues and political football surrounding water rights. Access to water is certainly a topic of concern for the states in the Southwest U.S., but it's not just a domestic issue. Water scarcity is a problem for countries around the world, especially in the Middle East.

Water desalination, also referred to as desalinization, could be one of the leading industries in the next decade. Some major companies, such as Siemens (SI) and General Electric (GE) have water desalination divisions that make up a small part of their businesses, while other companies are more of a pure play in the industry.

According to the list of water purification and desalination stocks T, there are more than 20 companies involved in the treatment of water, and several of them have specifically targeted desalination.

Consolidated Water (CWCO) is one of the purest plays in the sector. It operates seawater desalination plants and other water services in the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, Belize, the British Virgin Islands and Bermuda, using reverse osmosis technology to convert seawater to drinkable water. The stock trades at 17 times forward earnings and provides a nice yield of 3.3%. The company has raised its dividend in eight of the last 10 years.

Tetra Tech (TTEK), which designs and builds desalination systems that use seawater, brackish water and reclaimed wastewater sources to help increase water supply, has been designing desalination plants in Florida since the 1990s. It also designed the first California desalination plant, the Corona Temescal Desalter. The stock has a forward P/E ratio of 15.

For a list of all the stocks involved in desalination and purification, which can be downloaded, sorted and updated, visit .

At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Fred Fuld III, the publisher of stock and bond investing blog Stockerblog and founder of WallStreetNewsNetwork, has been in the financial services industry for over 20 years, working as an investment advisor, options market maker at the Pacific Stock Exchange, vice president of a San Francisco money management firm, university faculty member and wholesaler for the New Alternatives Fund (the first environmentally conscious mutual fund). He is the author of the books Investing in Brazil Stocks and The Green Light on Green Stocks.