Global water issues? There’s an app for that.

Calvert recently released “Water Investing,” an app for Android and Apple devices that serves as both an elaborate marketing brochure and as a good introduction to global water issues.  A few years back, Calvert joined many other brokerages in offering a “water fund” (there’s even a NASDAQ US Water Index).  These funds focus on companies working in water purification, sewage treatment, and delivery to point of use.  At Calvert, of course, these general criteria are supplemented with SRI principles, including the conviction that water is a human right; as is also often the case with leading-edge investing, the fund description commits only to “strive” to include only companies that share this conviction and to create partnerships with NGOs working on water issues.  This post is not an investment recommendation (that’s a discussion to have with your investment advisor), but we do find the app to be an innovative approach to sharing information on an important topic.  

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After downloading the app, you’re offered a brief introductory video (apparently filmed at California’s former Owens Lake, a poster child for unsustainable water management), along with a page or so of information on key water-related topics.  Other sections include an introduction to Calvert’s water fund, and a simple little game that overlays rippling water on whatever your device’s camera is pointing at (you can run your finger through the “water” to create complex optical effects).  But the most useful part of the app is a couple of water-issue news feeds: a collection of Calvert analyst tweets on water issues, and a news feed dubbed “The Daily Drip,” where you’ll find one story a day ranging over the full spectrum of topics from local and state water management to global and legislative developments.

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Jim Cummings

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