Privatize water services, earth's population, financial resources
Most view of many people in the world is that water is essential, and a human right and this view was voted by the U.N General Assembly in July, 2013 (Jeneen et al., par 20). There is plenty of water on earth that can sustain the earth's population for millions of years without depletion. However, with this plenty of volumes that seem to be abundant, water might one day become a scarce resource and thus there is a need to take care of how it is distributed and used in order to reduce wastage. The water market as far as extraction and supply are concerned is faced
by several compelling realities that need to be solved in order to make water available and cheap to the ordinary person. The supply and obtaining of water are becoming more expensive that most state governments cannot afford adequately to deliver enough water to its citizens.
With the increasing population, water demands are rising day by day, but the supply remains low to meet the demands due to the shrinking water reserves and financial resources. There is a danger that in the years to come, there may erupt water wars and in order to avoid these conflicts. States need to define better ways on how to provide enough and clean water to their citizens. The question, however, is; should state governments privatize water supply in order to make water available to the citizens?
[...] Privatizing water supply may make the resource very expensive considering the factor of monopoly as there is no substitute to water. Private companies are purely in the business of making profits and do not care about environment or human rights (Jeneen and Tracy, par 4). If water is privately controlled, the world may find itself divided into two boundaries; the haves and the have-nots, as private companies hike their prices to siphon as much profits as possible from this scarce resource. [...]
[...] Tens of thousands of the local citizens were left without water as they could not afford the high water rates. The company claimed that the hiking of the prices was due to the high cost of repair to the dilapidated infrastructure (Jeneen and Tracy, par 8). However, looking critically at the motive of the company, it can be reasoned that the company was interested in maintaining unrealistic profit margins in the expense of suffering citizens. Private companies often cut workforce, maintenance costs, and neglect environmental conservation measures in order to maximize their profits. [...]
[...] The structures of the companies encourage corruption. The checks and balances that could, otherwise, prevent corruption within these companies lack because accountability and transparency miss in every step from the process of bidding to delivery of water. Contracts to award these tenders are worked out behind closed doors. The details of the contracts are often kept secret after the contracts are signed even though the public is the one that is faced by the results of the conditions. Bribery is common in these contracts and in case of any diversions from the laid down conditions; it is hard to sue the involved companies. [...]
[...] It calls for conservation of water as a resource in order to reduce the burden to the poor. Private companies have very little incentive to encourage water conservation because when that happens, revenue declines and they are not ready to lose those extra profits. More often, the companies are not accountable to the population in need (consumers) but to their shareholders. Most companies are given the right to provide water services for longer periods of 25-30 years, effectively encouraging monopoly. [...]
[...] (2004). Cochabamba!: Water war in Bolivia. Cambridge, Mass: South End Press. Robinson, J. L. (2013). Contested water: The struggle against water privatization in the United States and Canada. Dumol, M. (2000). The Manila water concession: A key government official's diary of the world's largest water privatization. Washington, DC: World Bank. [...]
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