In a recent article published in the New York Times entitled “Wall Street Eyes Billions in the Colorado’s Water” Ben Ryder Howe focuses on the latest development in the long and complex story of water in the Southwestern United States, namely the increased interest in water rights in this region on the part of large investors. These investors, including Michael Burry (the subject of the movie The Big Short), see water as an undervalued commodity ripe for exploitation leading to big profits. They are undoubtedly correct. Water is undervalued, and in some cases, waste and poor management exacerbate the problems. Most consumer water rates are far below the true cost of providing water, and many farmers with water rights may have little or no incentive to conserve. And with levels of drought not seen for over 1,000 years, water is quickly becoming the ultimate scarce resource. But for those of us who live in the desert Southwest, it always has been scarce. In New Mexico we say “agua es vida” (water is life) because we know its value. But when Wall Street says value, they mean something else altogether.