CME Group Launched World’s First Water Futures Contract; Here’s How Indian Country Can Prepare

The CME Group has launched the world’s first futures contract to trade water like oil or gold. 

Water is sacred to Indian Country. Water is life. It’s one of our greatest resources. 

It’s also an asset. A sovereign Tribal Nation supplying water to its community is an act of self-determination.

And, water is a commodity — one that Tribal Nations can monetize, according to Mandan Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) Nation Chairman Mark N. Fox. 

“In Indian Country, we are one of the few people in this world that recognize the importance of water,” Chairman Fox told Native Business Founder, Publisher and CEO Gary Davis during the Native Business Virtual Summit. 

READ MORE: Inside the Groundbreaking Native Business Virtual Summit Live Broadcast 

“Whether it’s global warming, or other things that are going on in the world, it’s going to reduce the amount of potable water,” he continued.

“We (in Indian Country) recognize that we have to be very careful. Our reverence for water and reverence for nature is so important at this time.”

“…Water shortage continues to grow in the world. The demand for water continues to grow. Indian Country must realize that — just like the land and everything else — they’re going to come for it,” Chairman Fox warned. 

His message? 

“Utilize your water. Use it for agriculture. Use it for energy development. Take advantage of the rich commercial and economic value. Everything depends somewhere or somehow on water. The thing about Tribes is we have an abundance of water,” Chairman Fox said. 

And most pivotally, Chairman Fox emphasized, “develop the future infrastructure and use it.” He added: “Water can be exported like goods to bring dollars in” to make Tribal Nations and Indian Country “stronger and stronger.”

Chairman Fox is known for his strategic foresight as relates to energy, food sovereignty and more. 

READ MORE: The MHA Nation Wants to Feed the World in a Food Sovereignty Revolution

His recent call to action for Indian Country at the Native Business Virtual Summit, live broadcast November 17-20th, was rather fortuitous, as on December 7th, the CME Group laid the groundwork for investors to farmers alike to bet on the future price of water. 

The CME Group has launched the world’s first water futures contract for trading. While some of society may lament that water can be commoditized, that’s already the case in California, home to a $1.1 billion spot water market. The CME Group’s futures contract is based off the Nasdaq Veles California Water Index, created two years ago, reported Business Insider

CME Group’s goal is to create balance between the competing demands for water supply and its uncertainty with the world’s severe droughts, global warming and more. 

“With nearly two-thirds of the world’s population expected to face water shortages by 2025, water scarcity presents a growing risk for businesses and communities around the world, and particularly for the $1.1 billion California water market,” Tim McCourt, CME Group Global Head of Equity Index and Alternative Investment Products, said back in September. 

CME Group’s water futures contract paves the way for buyers and sellers to barter a fixed price for the delivery of a fixed quantity of water at a future date.

This sets the stage for water to be traded like other commodities on Wall Street.

As Chairman Fox sees it, Tribes have the opportunity to take sovereign control of their water, and to monetize it — to leverage it like the asset that it is. 

READ MORE: MHA Nation: A Vision for Economic Sovereignty