Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Plus Ultra is Getting Thirsty!
Should Water be a
By Brent Erickson
"Til taught by pain, men really know not what good water is worth."
From "Don Juan" by Byron
Every eight seconds a child dies from lack of clean water. The earth’s fresh water is being depleted so fast that by the year 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population will be living with some amount of water insecurity and one-third will have no access to clean water at all. In 2001 even U.S President George Bush remarked that; “In Texas, water is more valuable than oil.”.
Taking advantage of the global water crisis is corporate America. Although over five million people die every year from lack of fresh water, according to Fortune Magazine the annual profits of the water industry are over $400 Billion U.S, substantially higher than those of the pharmaceutical industry. Despite record profits, water corporations are not satisfied, only about ten percent of the world’s fresh water has been privatized and now they want the rest. Transnational corporations are working to keep water treated like oil, as a commodity sold for profit.
Thankfully, citizen groups around the world are fighting back. From The Congo to Canada, Ecuador to England, people are struggling to have water recognized under international law as a human right. The UN committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has issued definitive statements on the human right to water; "Water is a limited natural resource and a public good fundamental for life and health. The human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity. It is a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights.”
Universal access to fresh water would actually save governments around the world billions of dollars, according to the Friends of the Earth’s Report “Nature For Sale: The Impacts of Privatizing Water and Biodiversity”. The report estimates that access to clean water and sanitation would save $125 billion a year in direct medical expenses and other costs related to preventable water-related diseases.
However, the Canadian government, (without a word of parliamentary or public debate) has taken a stance against the human right to water. Canada was the only country to take this position at a recent UN Human Rights Commission meeting, saying: "Canada does not accept that there is a right to drinking water and sanitation."
In co-operation with Google Video, Plus Ultra Presents: Ya Don't Miss the Water and Maude Barlow: Looming Global Water Crisis, two extraordinary video's on the issue of (the corporate theft of the worlds) water. To learn more about this important topic please visit; The Council of Canadians.org.