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California Water Futures Begin Trading Amid Fear of Scarcity

  • Futures on California water index launched by CME Group
  • Contracts seen useful for farmers, cities to hedge water risk
Water Shortage Continues As All Residents Grapple With Egalitarian Crisis
Photographer: Adriana Loureiro Fernandez/Bloomberg
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Water joined gold, oil and other commodities traded on Wall Street, highlighting worries that the life-sustaining natural resource may become scarce across more of the world.

Farmers, hedge funds and municipalities alike are now able to hedge against -- or bet on -- future water availability in California, the biggest U.S. agriculture market and world’s fifth-largest economy. CME Group Inc.’s January 2021 contract, linked to California’s $1.1 billion spot water market, last traded Monday at 496 index points, equal to $496 per acre-foot.