Mountain Range in British Columbia`

U.S. exchange giant Nasdaq Inc. launched a new index today that aims to put a price on water, and to allow for the creation of tradable financial instruments geared to water.

The exchange announced the launch of the Nasdaq Veles California Water Index (NQH2O), which, it says, is the first to enable price discovery and the development of financial instruments by setting a weekly rate for the price of water in California. The index is calculated weekly, using a proprietary water index methodology developed by Nasdaq and Veles Water, a water pricing firm.

“Water is our most important commodity and until now, there were no financial risk management instruments available in the global financial markets,” said Lance Coogan, CEO of Veles Water, in a statement. “We see the Nasdaq Veles California Water Index as an important first step to understanding water as a commodity, which means a more transparent and accessible marketplace for all.”