Watch Episode 1 above. Watch Episode 2 below.
Every living thing on earth needs water. From the tiniest micro-organisms to the massive blue whale, none can survive without some form of water.
But now, this most precious and ubiquitous of resources is in danger of becoming an exclusive club as demand for water explodes, driven by the growing human population.
By 2050, it is estimated that a quarter of the global population will live in a country suffering from water shortages. Banks and investment funds have come to view this growing demand as a potential source of profit – a sort of “blue gold”.
Goldman Sachs, HSBC, UBS, Allianz, Deutsche Bank, and BNP have all made investments in this new market for water. Their detractors say attempts to monopolise earth’s most precious resource could impact the lives of every human. But the investors argue that putting a cost on water is the best way to ensure its preservation.
This series, Lords of Water, investigates this financialisation of water.
Featuring interviews with investors, environmental and business experts, and those affected by water scarcity, it examines the struggle between those who wish to treat water as raw material and those who wish to preserve it as a resource open to all.
Filmmaker: Jerome Fritel