We have a wonderful tradition in this country of trying to spotlight various issues and problems by designating a particular day as that issues day. Well, a new one recently appeared that gives me some encouragement and it is called World Water Day. I think that most of us take water for granted. You want a hot bath? It is the spigot on the left. Many people have their lawns watered by a timer and involves them very little other than paying for their water. However, we should not be too casual about water and its importance.
To know how important water is let yourself be separated from it for a short period of time and soon a desperate need will arise. When we deal with cities and large concentrations of people, the need can be extraordinarily difficult to provide. This has given rise to the development in segments of the American business community. They ought to “capture” water and sell it to those who would like to do it. This is at odds with the American tradition since once our cities became modernized they took over the securing, purifying and distributing of water. Water was to be in public hands.
One of my favorite organizations, Corporate Accountability International, is leading the struggle to alert people to the dangers that can come to all of us if water becomes a private commodity. A much smaller entity than the general public can control – who gets it and what they pay for it. CAI is waging a nation-wide struggle to make us realize that. They have published a report on the subject documenting that people across the country overwhelmingly support the critical need to invest in the nation’s public water systems while keeping them in public hands.
Those struggling to keep water sources public need to be concerned about certain activities at the World Bank. Tragically, the Bank is driving global water privatization at a chilling human cost. With original financial analysis and powerful case studies, Corporate Accountability International is demonstrating how the Bank must divest from private water projects to run with actions with its stated mission of alleviating poverty and supporting sustainable development. In privatization, communities bear the costs of skyrocketing rates, decreased water quality and undermining of democratic processes, and finally, a failure to extent access to those who need it.
Don’t take that hot bath for granted.