In response to a water futures market launched in California, the Board of Commissioners for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) has unanimously passed a resolution recognizing water and sanitation as human rights that will remain in the public trust.
In December 2020, the country’s first water futures market was launched. It allows traders, banks, hedge funds, and others to bet on future water prices and availability.
“We are blessed to live, work, and play in one of the most water-rich regions on the entire planet,” said Commissioner Cam Davis. “Water belongs to us all because all life depends on it. This strong statement by my colleagues puts us on record against privatizing water for private gain.”
According to the MWRD resolution, only 0.5 percent of the earth’s water is fresh, and this water can be compromised by pollution and excessive withdrawal from lakes, rivers, aquifers, and other water bodies that put those watersheds at risk. The United Nations estimates that by 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world’s population could be living under water-stressed conditions.
“Water is a necessary component of human life and all living beings,” said President Kari K. Steele. “Clean drinking water and sanitation are human rights essential for life and economic prosperity.”