Water Scarcity: Privatization is Not the Solution

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Although water is all around, very little is drinkable. Six billion people live on earth and 1.1 billion in 31 countries are unable to access safe, clean drinking water. California has only 20 years of water supply left. Ironically, even the wettest place on earth, Cherrapunji, India, has often water shortages. After years of millions of people dying of thirst and disease, a corporate movement to find a solution to the water crisis has now swept the world. Water, a fleeting resource vital to every life, every single day of the year, is now being taken out of the governments control and becoming a commodity bought and sold by big business, a.k.a privatization.

Water privatization at a glance seems like a knight in shining Armani. Foreign companies go into poor countries with bad water sources, shmooze the government with an offer to pay off the country's World Bank debt in exchange for a contract, and these white knights set up shop to make the water drinkable. In richer areas, the temptation of what these foreign companies brand as safer, cheaper, better managed water is a no brainer. Even in American cities, the offer was too good to pass up. Many of these states are learning they've been given a run for their money. Companies buying and selling water as a good has brought many unseen downfalls. As many around the world are learning, water treated as a commodity has a lower quality, higher price, and for many, may be the cause of much suffering; therefore, water privatization is a poor solution for the water crisis.

First of all, governments are intended to serve the people, where businesses intend to make profit. Water treated as a commodity will never be economically fair because of the way businesses work. Water doesn't r...

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