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Water is fundamental to life, yet it’s also a scarce commodity. In many cases, greed and mismanagement are causing this life-giving essential to run dry. What happens when water is monetized?
From Australia to California, from New York to London and Brussels, this investigative documentary tells the story of the global struggle over water. Following rushes to secure gold and oil, the age of the water rush is now here. As well as growing populations and expanding agriculture, there are the problems of environmental degradation and climate change. Global demand for water is skyrocketing. By 2050, at least one in four people will live in a country with a chronic water shortage. The situation has awakened the greed of giant financial institutions, which are going on the offensive, investing billions in the sector. Goldman Sachs, HSBC, UBS, Allianz, Deutsche Bank and BNP are among those pouncing on the commodity known as “blue gold.” But can fresh water really be considered a commodity on par with oil, coal or wheat? Should the players in these markets – banks and investment funds – be allowed to bet on the value of water? Will concern for profits undermine water’s essential function? Or should this precious resource be declared off-limits to financial speculators?
A battle has broken out between those who advocate the monetization of water, and those who defend it as a human right. It’s a battle being fought on many fronts: ideological, political, environmental and, of course, economic. And the fate of the nearly ten billion inhabitants of our planet hinges on its outcome.