Options for Assuring Access to Water

HOW DO WE CREATE FAIR ACCESS FOR PURE WATER TO ALL? First off, just like clean air, water is a valuable resource which history shows we must fight to protect. After that, it get complicated. This article offers a good discussion of the water issue. Jim

“Fresh water is vital for human survival and health, the production of food and energy, industrial activity, and the functioning of the entire global economy, as well as for the survival of other animals, plants, and natural ecosystems. Water scarcity, whatever its cause–natural catastrophes, pollution, poor water management, or theft and smuggling—can have grave consequences…

“There are two broad schools of thought on the use of and access to water (and hence on water theft and smuggling). One school defines water as a basic human right, and often opposes the pricing of water, particularly increases in prices. The other sees water as a commodity to which value needs to be assigned—contending that, like electricity, it needs to be priced properly to maintain its sustainability and efficient use. Members of the first school are deeply uncomfortable with the concepts and language of water theft and smuggling. Thus, legislation and regulations concerning water use can be politically divisive and explosive, since these opposite views can be strongly held, even within the same polity…

“The purpose of water regulation is to ensure long-term water sustainability and compatibility of water use across society, by all actors, and among competing uses (human consumption, agriculture, industry, and energy), as well as to ensure the preservation or biodiversity of natural ecosystems…

“Indeed, establishing a legal water supply, and perhaps providing it for free up to the minimum amount a person needs for healthy survival (50 liters per day) needs to precede enforcement actions. Establishing such a legal supply can include legalizing some illegal water suppliers, such as by giving them licenses if they obey certain regulations. However, it also means cracking down on large abusers of water regulations, such as major industries and agricultural actors, that use and overuse water and do not pay for it.”

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2017/03/23/stealing-water/