Water, some say, will soon become more precious than oil.
Which might help explain why two Whanganui operators want to bottle it for sale, here and abroad.
We're not going to run out of water – there is as much as there was millions of years ago. But we do face something of a water crisis.
For starters only about 3 per cent is fresh water and thus drinkable. The rest is sea water.
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And of that fresh water much is locked up in ice.
We also face polluting what water there is. Chemical run-offs poison aquifers.
It is said that much of China's interest in Tibet is not for the land but for the vast quantities of frozen water there.
So the question becomes should Whanganui sell its water, either locally or overseas?
Debate on social media is fierce and opinions are divided.
As the climate changes and populations grow demand for water too will grow.
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It seems like a good business investment. But at what cost to the community?
These are some of the issues Horizons Regional Council will grapple with while assessing the latest water bottling proposal before it from a company wanting to suck 604,000 litres a day from an existing bore near Kai Iwi. A second bore the applicant says is likely in the future.
It's unlikely Whanganui will run out of water any time soon – after all it's recyclable. The question though is will it be affordable?
Like oil, water will become abundant in some parts of the globe and scarce in other parts. Purification, bottling, drilling … these are all overheads that will increase the cost of what we have taken for granted all of our lives.
Next time you turn on the kitchen tap revel in the fact that the water that comes out is basically free and plentiful. It may not always be that way.