Water Trading

I have no doubt that this will have various greenies up in arms:

Global shortages of water could lead to the precious liquid being exchanged in a similar way to permission schemes used by countries for carbon dioxide, the head of one of the world’s leading exchanges said yesterday.

Craig Donohue, chief executive of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), said that water could become a commodity as droughts and demand place huge pressures on river systems and water tables.

Trading water as a commodity would, it is argued, put financial pressure on users to keep consumption down, in the same way that carbon emission trading schemes penalise the biggest polluters.

You can hear it now, can\’t you? Water is a right, it shouldn\’t be commodified….and what about the Children!

A pity that none of them will actually look at the details: it\’s a form of insurance. Farmers (and we are talking about farmers, they use most of the world\’s fresh water) can buy insurance from speculators that there won\’t be enough water to grow their crops. That\’s how it will work: no one is actually suggesting a physical trading scheme, where water is taken from British Columbia to Australia, say.

4 comments on “Water Trading

  1. The whole water issue is massively overhyped. Bjorn Lomburg in “The Skeptical Environmentalist” makes clear that it is only groundwater that is running short, that we exploit the merest fraction of rainfall and that even the hawks of arid Israeli admit that desalinisation plants are a lot cheaper than a war over water.

    Life just isn’t any fun for ecofascists unless we’re running out of everything.

  2. Tim, you seem to be having a conversation with yourself about imaginary protests.

    Water futures is an interesting one. Can you store it and deliver it?

  3. I seem to recall many years ago some wild schemes to supply water to the Middle East by towing giant icebergs, mooring them offshore and pumping off the wwater as it melted. Then someone else topped that by the simple expedient of filling supertankers with North American water and sending them to the Gulf when they would normally go in ballast. A return load for a supertanker – can’t be bad? Never heard what came of it – maybe desalination with the cheap gas they have was better all round.

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