Prof Allen coined such an elegant phrase in 'virtual water' to describe the water embedded in products we import/ export. We can't see the water moving across boundaries as we taste figs from Turkey or gift the bouquet of roses from Ecuador, but the water is there. Patchy regulation across the world, means there is little protection for people dearly dependent on this water for their survival. The opportunities are there for large scale investors to enter local water markets and dominate allocations for their export products. Principles of free markets and economic benefits, fail to protect the remaining small holders and the environment in which they operate. Question whether shareholders insisting on ethical investments can impose sufficient pressure to change the modus operandi?