Friday, March 28, 2008

Water Water Everywhere?

Well no according to the UN. It was passed today that while Water is universally recognized as a need for human health and development, it will not be recognized by Governments as a basic fundamental human right.

What does this mean? Well if water was a basic human right, then everybody would have the right to clean, fresh water for bathing, drinking and cooking. At the very minimum, you're looking at under 20 liters per day for an individual to survive. In some impoverished countries, people are surviving on far less than that per household, nevermind the individual.

You can read the press report here from the UN itself.

This means that water, that basic necessity can be commodified. Packaged off and sold, moreso than it already is. As Canadians the primary concern would be bulk water trading with the United States, which could technically be allowed through the agreements held in NAFTA.


This comes in time for the Harper Government to claim victory, and the Liberal's were actually behind them in this regard. It consistently chips away and breaks down my faith in our Government and our Intergovernmental systems. I don't want to sound like I'm dissenting, as I still hold faith in democracy, but we have going on here is not democracy. These are decisions that go so againt the common sense of what should be happening in our World. It makes one feel like business interests really do have a stranglehold on our Governments and the economy and the bottom-line are the real guides to our society, which is crumbling at its foundations.

In the press release, they use language such as "measures worked against the independence and self-determination of people." They argue that this contravenes initial parameters set out by the European to protect personal and National freedoms od determination. Which I'm all for - every nation and every person should be able to make their own future without persecution from internal and external forces.

However, when it comes to the essence of life you cannot put a pricetag on that. I may be one who sees resources from a management perpsective, but it is a multi-lateral view, realizing the multiple needs that water gives, and not only from a human perspective. We can't lock all the water up in tanks and dole it out to the highest bidders. Our watercourses, rivers, lakes, swamps and other systems are vital for our planets survival for us and all species.

All this on the wake of 2008 being the Year of Sanitation, which is supposed to supply have the World with adequate water by 2015. These decisions seem to be going against such ideals that are set out with no plans on proper implementation.

It just infuriates me, and I apologize to my dedicated readers as my blog becomes more and more political and radical, but these are really issues that bear at least as much importance as issues in Afghanistan, Iraq or the Alberta Tarsands and they do not get the media coverage they should. Read today's headlines and you won't find this anywhere in them.
Anyway I am out for tonight. Please take part in Earth hour tomorrow night. It is a very important symbolic event and should be a lot of fun.

Cheers all

9 comments:

Dr. B said...

You don't sound radical (not that there is anything wrong with radical, i.e. getting to the root); you sound sane and indignant for good reason.

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