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What Happens When You Don't Price The Earth's Most Valuable Commodity Correctly

Protestors gathering in Khuzestan | RFE/RL's Radio Farda

In the past week, BBC and other international media sources reported protests in Iran’s Khuzestan province due to extreme water shortages. This region in Iran, among other Southwestern provinces, has the potential to reach up to 50 degrees C, or 122 degrees Fahrenheit, making it one of the hottest areas in the entire country.

Iran’s lack of adequate infrastructure already poses a threat to water distribution and access throughout the nation but with the rapidly increasing side effects of climate change, the water crisis changes swiftly. Thus, there are now hundreds of civilians protesting their right to water as supplies are left depleted only to be shot down by local police and the Iranian government.

One side begs for incredibly important resources as the other denies the problem even exists in the first place.

And so it begins… many don’t realize that the next world war will likely be fought over water. Despite being the most critical foundation to life, less than 1% of this global resource is potable. I see a growing ripple effect starting with a drought in households, which then spreads across communities, cities, states, and ultimately countries.

Nations shall topple in a relative blink of the eye as we carelessly waste water and continue to pollute our waterways, air, and soil. Conservation and preservation should have started decades ago, but instead, we leave our faucets on while we brush our teeth and wash dishes as lawn sprinklers saturate grass for hours out of neglect. This same behavior trickles its way through society from everything from corporations to municipalities—all as we take for granted this dwindling vitality to our existence.

In the United States, there is a lot of talk about inflation at the moment due to rising prices of everyday products, which are mainly due to increased wealth/spending, global supply chain shocks, chip shortages, migration from cities leading to growing housing demand, and even constrained oil production. However, to date, the price of water in our goods and services is not even calculated as part of the retail price. I believe there will be a day, within the next decade, when the cost of water shall carry a hefty premium…and we are already seeing its diminished supply causing chaos in Iran and other developing nations.

There are so many basic elements to life that are crumbling quickly right before our eyes, yet our ignorance shields us into the comfort that “everything will be alright.” Well, procrastination shall once again be our downfall—the writing is on the wall (literally, whether it is waterline mark at Lake Meade or signage at the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town due to rationing) that this threat is imminent. Our team at CAЯBON chooses to be on the front line to fight this battle. What are you doing about it?

Shayne Veramallay, Founder &CEO CAЯBON


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