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rought_wetland1-300x300There’s one thing even drier than the soil, reservoirs and mountains in the 12 states declared natural disasters by the U.S. government last week: the budget needed to deal with all the repercussions of severe droughts, including the imminent wildfires.

This drought is making history, so there’s no telling what the final price tag might be.

A lack of water makes it nearly impossible to grow crops without the help of costly irrigation systems. So, farmers suffer.

Sparse snow packs keep reservoir levels far below normal, forcing state officials to speed up lengthy projects to update water infrastructure and creative pumping solutions. So, cities suffer.

Through August 2013, 33,000 wildfires spanning 5,300 square miles destroyed 960 homes and 30 commercial buildings at a cost of nearly $1 billion. Now that Round 2 is of the disaster is underway, federal, state and local governments desperately need firefighting equipment and manpower. So, homeowners and fire crews suffer too.

It’s particularly hard when natural disasters strike, whether they come fast and furious like Hurricane Sandy or the Northridge Earthquake, or slow and subtle like droughts. There are no winners. However, when companies supply services or products to help counter the devastating effects of disaster, the investment community calls that opportunity.

Companies involved in the business of farming, water efficiency and firefighting are sure to be affected. Here are six stocks to watch.

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