Support the Human Right to Water

Young Girl Collecting Contaminated Pond Water to Drink
Young Girl Collecting Contaminated Pond Water to Drink

We talk a lot around here about healthy food and our food’s impact on the environment. Something we don’t mention as often is access to clean, safe water. I’m sure that part of this is because we’re all lucky enough to live in places where water isn’t an issue yet. You turn on the tap, maybe run it through a filter of some sort, and you’re ready to drink!

Having ready access to safe water makes it easy to forget that there are people all over the world that aren’t so lucky. At the end of July, the UN is voting on a resolution that would make clean water a human right, and you can help!

According to Food & Water Watch:

Water-borne diseases occur due to the inability to provide clean water, but increasingly due to the unaffordable pricing of water. Pre-paid water meters are installed in poor areas to ensure profitable supply and services are cut-off if citizens fall behind on their payments. Privatization of water has only exacerbated the problem.

A UN resolution would go a long way toward ending these unfair practices, and Food & Water Watch is making it easy for folks to tell Susan Rice, the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, that you support this resolution. It only takes a minute to fill out their online form, but if we can help get that resolution passed, the impact could be huge.

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by uncultured

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2 Comments

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  1. Privatization has shown throughout history that the best way to conserve a resource, and to prevent the eventual tragedy of the commons is to assign property rights, and thus value, to that resource. Property rights schemes are currently saving fish populations, ( http://tiny.cc/rj3st ) and endangered species in Africa. ( http://tiny.cc/09i28 )

    If water rights mirrored in some way the private ownership of mineral rights, we wouldn't have near the issues with scarcity, conservation and pollution we have now.

    • Interesting point! I feel like privatization might work in some instances, but not necessarily in others. Mineral mining is responsible for quite a bit of pollution and hardship for surrounding communities. Look at something like an open pit mine for copper, gold, or silver. There's another case where privatizing resources to resell them to the wealthy is causing terrible damage to populations where they're actually gathering those resources.

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