Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Water As A Human Right

The Environment, Science, & Technology

I refuse to buy drinking water as a commodity. Drinking water is a basic human right and should be clean, free, and accessible. Sadly, many countries in our world are facing water scarcity, and over a billion people lack access to clean drinking water. With the United Nations General Assembly's recognition in 2010 of this precious, life sustaining natural resource as a human right, countries can make a concerted effort to ensure access for all their citizens. Of course, given the scarcity of this precious resource, big companies are salivating over the prospects of securing it in various places and ultimately marketing it for big profit. This must not happen. Water privatization must be fought and the notion of its being the oil of the 21st century must not be allowed to take root. Governments must become increasingly responsible and not make contractual deals behind closed doors that benefit profiteering corporations and that limit people's access to clean drinking water. They must strive at all times to maintain a healthy balance between humans and nature and ensure that manufacturing and mining industries do not excessively divert critical water supplies from communities and local farming and that they do not contaminate aquifers. Governments must not back away from their regulatory responsibilities, and they must not allow transnational corporations to determine the future of water. 

[Photographic Art by Ric Couchman]