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UN Warns New Water Futures May Spark Bubble for Vital Resource

  • Water ‘belongs to everyone,’ UN human rights official says
  • New futures raise risk of water being treated like gold, oil

The United Nations said Wall Street’s new water futures risk an essential public good being treated like gold and oil, leaving the market vulnerable to a speculative bubble.

CME Group Inc.’s new contract -- which debuted this week -- could lure interest from hedge funds and banks alongside farmers, factories and utilities looking to lock in prices, said Pedro Arrojo-Agudo, the UN’s special rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation. That risks a price run-up for a resource that “belongs to everyone” and is a vital tool in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.