Forget Peak Oil, We Are at Peak Water

“Truths are first clouds; then rain, then harvest and food.” — Henry Ward Beecher

For the most part, I trade exchange-listed commodities, but there are dozens of commodities that don’t trade as such. The most important one of them is water. The growing 21st century “water gap” between supply and demand is going to have major ramifications for the entire planet.

There is the potential for the world to go from abundance to scarcity within 25 years. What does the world look like in 2050 when there are an estimated 9 billion people inhabiting the earth and they all want healthy food, hot showers, running water in their homes, and effective sewage? Will we create a “water footprint” and trade water conservation credits, not unlike the carbon market?

Water as Political Capital

On one hand we need large urban centers to begin aggressively conserving water, while on the other hand there are hundreds of millions of people in India and China who do not have running water. This is a global issue that’s not making enough headlines — and it needs to.

Colin Chartres is the co-author of Out of Water: From Abundance to Scarcity and How to Solve the World’s Water Problems and is the Director General of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).

Colin’s book, co-written with Sam Varma, blew me away — as did this interview. I highly recommend the book.

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