The ability to obtain abundant, pure water is a basic requirement for an individual’s well-being. Likewise, access to abundant, safe water is also indispensable for resilient agricultural crops as well as a thriving national economy. These requirements for pure water are so substantial that disputes amongst regional groups, states, as well as nations arise on a frequent basis regarding the rights to various water sources.
The Colorado River Basin in the US
` The Colorado River basin has been the focus of ongoing water disputes for numerous years. These disagreements encompass the seven states which lay claim for health reasons as well as economic necessity that their region has access to this water basin. According to Richards and Orr (2003), “At the heart, it is an issue of scarcity.” (p. 19). As in many places around the world, the demand for clean water is not able to be fulfilled by the supply available. In the case of the Colorado River, the increase in the area’s population combined with water needs of industry as well as the needs of agriculture have all resulted in an increased friction among parties requiring water access. Hence, the disputes among states regarding the Colorado River basin are not limited only to surface water, but in addition include the right of states to drill wells for irrigation which can often result in a decrease in the amount of water from the Colorado River (Richards & Orr, 2003). In an attempt to obtain the water they need for their city’s inhabitants as well the water needed for a city’s economic viability, California leaders have even attempted to buy rights to the area’s...
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... upon solution to water access disagreements, social and political powers must be willing to compromise since the risks associated with disagreements regarding water allocation may be too great. As stated by Shiyyab (2004), “If sustained over a period of time, these problems will directly affect social harmony, domestic stability and eventually, regional peace.” (p. 30). Investments must be made by industry as well as local and national governments for purification of wastewater so that clean water, when needed, will be available. The necessity of obtaining water is a fundamental human right and,
ABILITY TO OBTAIN WATER 4
although having water available for economic development is important, the growth of industry cannot be allowed to take precedent over protecting the most valuable resource of all, the individuals of each nation.
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