Liquid Assets: Water on Wall Street

Colorado water lawyer James Eklund and California water policy expert Ellen Hanak talk to Jay about the future of water -- or rather, about water futures. Water futures and securities are increasingly valuable investments. Some may feel anxiety at letting financial markets commodify such a basic human essential, but Eklund and Hanak, whose states have unique systems of water rights, say it's a legitimate resource management tool and way forward for landowners struggling to monetize their assets.

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Guest Bio

Ellen Hanak

Ellen Hanak is vice president and director of the PPIC Water Policy Center and a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, where she holds the Ellen Hanak Chair in Water Policy. Under her leadership, the center has become a critical source of information and guidance for natural resource management in California. She has authored dozens of reports, articles, and books on water policy, including Managing California’s Water. Her research is frequently profiled in the national media, and she participates in briefings, conferences, and interviews throughout the nation and around the world. Her other areas of expertise include climate change and infrastructure finance. Previously, she served as research director at PPIC. Before joining PPIC, she held positions with the French agricultural research system, the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and the World Bank. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Maryland.

James Eklund

James Eklund is a water lawyer, a water policy expert, and the former director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board. In his role as Colorado’s lead water official, he was responsible for the creation of the state’s first strategic water plan, which was also the first water plan by a state in the American West. James also helped frame the Colorado River Drought Contingency plan. He now leads his own law firm, Eklund-Hanlon LLC, which focuses on water and infrastructure in the western United States. James is a true leader in water policy and water diplomacy - bringing together multiple states, agencies, and stakeholders across the western U. S. and Mexico to craft collaborative solutions. And, he is also my friend and colleague.

Additional & Related Links

Colorado's Water Plan (video)

Managing California's Water: From Conflict to Resolution

Can a Water Plan Actually Work?

Colorado's Water Plan

Ellen Hanak Publications

James Eklund Articles & Presentations

Video Resources



Ellen on Twitter

James on Twitter