The New “Water Barons”: Wall Street Mega-Banks are Buying up the World’s Water

The New “Water Barons”: Wall Street Mega-Banks are Buying up the World’s Water





A disturbing trend in the water sector is accelerating worldwide. The
new “water barons” — the Wall Street banks and elitist
multibillionaires — are buying up water all over the world at
unprecedented pace.
Familiar mega-banks and investing powerhouses such as Goldman Sachs,
JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, UBS, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Macquarie
Bank, Barclays Bank, the Blackstone Group, Allianz, and HSBC Bank,
among others, are consolidating their control over water. Wealthy
tycoons such as T. Boone Pickens, former President George H.W. Bush and
his family, Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing, Philippines’ Manuel V. Pangilinan
and other Filipino billionaires, and others are also buying thousands of
acres of land with aquifers, lakes, water rights, water utilities, and
shares in water engineering and technology companies all over the world.
The second disturbing trend is that while the new water barons are
buying up water all over the world, governments are moving fast to limit
citizens’ ability to become water self-sufficient (as evidenced by the
well-publicized Gary Harrington’s case in Oregon, in which the state
criminalized the collection of rainwater in three ponds located on his
private land, by convicting him on nine counts and sentencing him for 30
days in jail). Let’s put this criminalization in perspective:
Billionaire T. Boone Pickens owned more water rights than any other
individuals in America, with rights over enough of the Ogallala Aquifer
to drain approximately 200,000 acre-feet (or 65 billion gallons of
water) a year. But ordinary citizen Gary Harrington cannot collect
rainwater runoff on 170 acres of his private land.
It’s a strange New World Order in which multibillionaires and elitist
banks can own aquifers and lakes, but ordinary citizens cannot even
collect rainwater and snow runoff in their own backyards and private
lands.

“Water is the oil of the 21st century.” Andrew Liveris, CEO of DOW
Chemical Company

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