[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the October 2018 edition of Oil and Gas Investor. Subscribe to the magazine here.]

There has never been a better time to be in the water sourcing, treating and disposal business for the oil field. Water handling companies that started four years ago are riding a rising wave of produced water disposal needs, and they are building infrastructure, acquiring rivals and even readying to go public.

Nowhere is produced water adding up as quickly as in the Permian Basin. If oil production is expected to top more than 3 million barrels a day (MMbbl/d) soon, then associated water output will be five or six times that amount. It’s a costly problem. It’s an incredible business opportunity.

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