The water is now traded on the Wall Street Stock Exchange.
As of December 7, 2020, water was added to the list of things that investors can negotiate. Water began to be traded on the Chicago Stock Exchange, along with oil, soybeans, gold, and bitcoins.
This new market developed by the CME group – the largest financial derivatives and exchanges company in the world – places the water available for speculation by financiers and investors who want to take advantage of the drought crisis on the planet.
It is precisely in California -the largest agricultural market in the USA and the fifth largest economy in the world- where the opening of the first contracts was announced, aimed mainly at large water consumers such as large agricultural and electricity producers, municipalities, etc. This was in September 2020, as the heat from wildfires ravaged the west coast of the USA and California was emerging from an 8-year drought. Thus, the price of water enters the speculative market.
The price of water will be linked to the Nasdaq Veles California Water Index. The index establishes a weekly benchmark spot price for water rights in California, supported by the volume-weighted average of transaction prices in the five largest and most traded markets in the state. Contracts are settled financially, rather than requiring immediate physical delivery. Each contract is made for approximately 3.26 million gallons (10 acre-feet of water). The first contracts were negotiated for USD $ 496 per acre-foot X 10, that is, USD $ 4,960.
The situation is alarming!
Private companies have already commercialized water through the privatization of water services, the bottled water industry, the rights granted to extractive industries such as energy and mining, etc. Now, if water is placed on the free market like oil, gas, gold, etc., it will inevitably lead to an increase in water prices, thus depriving the poorest of the right to life.
Thinking that investors and financial speculators have the right to raise the price of water to get the most out of it is unacceptable. The decision to market water on the stock market puts the lives of billions of human beings and all species of animals and plants at risk.
Water is a gift that we receive free of charge from Nature, and being essential for life, it is the obligation of governments to guarantee access for all to this vital liquid. Water should be free for all, since it is not possible to live without it.
We invite all the citizens of the world to speak out against this aberration and prevent the water crisis from worsening!