Water – A Future Commodity?

Water – A Future Commodity?

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–Deborah Thomas

Water a basic necessity of life is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity. According to several reports, almost half of the world’s population will live in water scarce areas by 2030. Presently, around 1.2 billion people are affected by water scarcity and this is set to get worse with climate change and urbanization.

5% of the world population lives in the driest half of the planet.
783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation.

It is a fact that there is enough freshwater for 7 billion people but unfortunately uneven distribution, pollution and wastage is increasing the global shortage of water in several regions. Sadly, water, a basic human right is now moving towards being a commodity.

According to the World Bank, water is a multitrillion-dollar industry now and one can only imagine these values getting higher. That leads me to thinking; will water be traded on a futures exchange like gold in future? We are already seeing high increases in bottled water sales in cities experiencing water scarcity or regions with accidental water pollution. Should water become a commodity, controlling the values will be extremely cumbersome with climate change being the biggest playing factor.

We need to start looking at recycling water on a larger scale and this needs to start from our domestic use from cutting down those sprinklers to the barest minimum and using water saving appliances.
Water is a fundamental human right that is a public good and should never have to become tradable commodity. If we all become more aware and get involved then we can make a difference.

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