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David Fickling

Why Water Won't Make It as a Major Commodity

There's good reason to believe H20 will never be traded globally. But the benefits of pricing it are clear.

Is it really that simple?

Is it really that simple?

Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

There’s no commodity more central to human activity than the one that makes up 60% of our bodies. So why isn’t water a fixture of financial markets the way gold, crude, copper and soybeans are?

Some investors think it should be. It’s the only asset that Michael Burry, the hedge fund manager played by Christian Bale in “The Big Short,” still focuses on, if you believe the film’s rather dubious closing sequence.  CME Group Inc. is thinking along the same lines, launching futures contracts this week linked to California’s $1.1 billion water market.