February 08, 2019
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ProPublica, Discovery & New America NYC Panel Asks: Can Wall Street Save the Water Crisis?

By Cynthia Gordy, ProPublica.org

Most Americans assume that our water is cheap, clean and in plentiful supply. But communities across the country are living with severe water insecurity, from the water shortage in the West to the lead contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan. An essential resource, pure water is increasingly scarce – yet it’s used lavishly in the U.S. and delivered almost for free.

A ProPublica investigation (also the basis for the recent Discovery documentary Killing the Colorado) offered one possible solution: a future marketplace in which water is bought, sold and traded. New York City hedge fund manager Disque Deane has been leading the effort to build water markets for years. He and a growing consensus of experts argue that if water is properly valued, waste would be discouraged and water supply would shift to where it’s needed most. Skeptics, however, raise questions around efficacy and access if water is left to Wall Street.

ProPublica, Discovery and New America will cohost a panel discussion on Oct. 17 entitled Liquid Assets: Can Wall Street Save the Water Crisis? Join us as leading experts discuss the opportunities and challenges in the commodification of water, and what’s at stake.


WHAT: Liquid Assets: Can Wall Street Save the Water Crisis?

WHEN: Monday, October 17, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

WHERE: Civic Hall, 156 5th Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10010


  • Abrahm Lustgarten, Senior Reporter at ProPublica
  • Disque Deane, Jr., Chief Investment Officer & Co-founder of Water Assets Management
  • Upmanu Lall, Director of Columbia University’s Water Center
  • Terrance Fulp, Lower Colorado Regional Director at U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation
  • Sharon Burke, Senior Advisor of New America’s Resource Security Program

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