Imagine this—you are in a desert and you have been walking for hours and yet there is no water in sight for many miles.
You daydream of water but there is still no drinking water to be found. At that point, you would do anything just for a sip of the thirst quenching water.
About 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water, but 97% of that 70% is saltwater. Now, out of the remaining 3% freshwater, only about 1% is readily available for human consumption.
At present, if something were to happen to the 1% freshwater supply, and there is a deficiency for clean water, what do you suppose will happen? One there will be scarcity of clean water, which implies that there will be very high demand for water, leading to really high prices. You might think to yourself, oh, it’s just water… nothing can happen to it and even if it does I’m sure the government will find a way.
Sadly there isn’t another way as unlike a luxury car, water isn’t a luxury product but a necessity good, one of the things essential to survival.
Did you know – humans can only live without water for 3 days but food for a week?
Water is many things to many different people. In developing countries, it is viewed as a symbol of hope. Hope for economic growth and prosperity. It is the enabler for building a new city in a desert like Dubai for instance, or expanding opportunities in rural areas. In the developed world, it is overlooked as a worthless, taken for granted commodity, but it is anything but that. We are forced to be reconciled with the fact that water is not a basic human right, or a free commodity, but it could all too easily end up turning into just another economic commodity.
Now what do I mean by economic commodity you may say?
An economic commodity is a reasonably homogeneous good or material like precious metals, fuel, etc, that are bought and sold as an article of commerce, and are traded in bulk on a commodity exchange or spot market.
To take it a step further, if the scarcity of water rises, i.e. the supply of clean water falls, the demand for it will sky rocket to a point where people will be willing to use it as a means of money instead of the fiat money (paper and coins) that is used at present day. It can alternatively be used to back money up as opposed to fiat money being backed up by gold at present. The value of money will fall way below the value of value, and hence back to the barter system, but this time only in terms of “water” as the new money. As previously mentioned… it’s only 3 days that you can last without water.
Coal was black gold once upon a time, but now water is known as blue gold, and unless we start using water considerately, we will soon run out of it, leading to a new world war for the new currency – water.
Written by FM