Last Tuesday, December 8, water began to trade on the New York Stock Exchange. The futures contracts linked to the spot price (cash price) of water have begun to be the result of speculation in the Wall Street market1. Thereby, it will be traded in a similar way to gold and oil.
At the moment, this stock index, NQH20, only trades the water of five areas of California2. Although there are already other antecedents of water rights speculation3, the fact that it is now listed on Wall Street may have dangerous global implications4. In the 2010-2011 period, corn became more than 88%5 more expensive and in 2012 the FAO Director-General already warned about speculating on food prices6.
In 2010, the UN explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation7. Although some experts suggest that giving an economic value to the water would be positive so that it is not wasted8 (although in no case they advocate its listing on the stock market), other studies recommend other types of formulas9.
Water is an essential good for life, which is scarce in more and more places, due to overexploitation, overpopulation or its irrational use10. The capitalist system is the main culprit of this situation and tries to make the population believe that the way to fight against the lack of water is through the same recipes that cause the problem: the speculation of the most precious goods of our planet, to the detriment of many and benefit of few. The impoverished classes must become aware of this deadly problem and confront the speculative powers wherever they want to deprive them of their right to this essential good.