Showing posts from October, 2010

The Commodification of Water Part 2

"If the wars of this century were fought over oil, the wars of the next century will be fought over water – unless we change our approach to managing this precious and vital resource." 
~ Ismail Serageldin, World Bank Vice President, 1995
The importance of water for sustaining life is one of the early lessons we learn. Water is required in every sphere of life whether it is the environment, society or economy. Of the total global water resources present on the planet, 97.5% is salt water found in oceans and seas while 2.24% is fresh water that is inaccessible, either found in polar icecaps (mainly in Greenland and Antarctica), glaciers or deep underground water, mostly too deep to be economically available. This leaves a mere 0.26% available for consumption which is accessible through rivers, streams and reservoirs.
Presently, half a billion people live in water-stressed or water-scarce countries[1], and this number is estimated to increase to three billion by 2025. The region…

The Commodification of Water: Deconstructing water privatisation

All of us have felt the joy of slaking one's thirst with water, washing away the unforgiving heat of a Delhi summer with a cool glass of water. But have you ever paused to think about where we get our water from? How are we using this resource? Is it finite or will be always get clean water, everyday, for all our needs? Today, water quality and access issues are plaguing most countries of the world, with India being one of the most glaring examples. Termed as 'blue gold' scientists predict an age of water wars in the near future, where scarcity of water will trigger civil unrest and battles over this live giving commodity.
Traditionally, water has been regulated by local governments. In India, under the Seventh Schedule of the constitution, water finds a place under the State list, giving the state government jurisprudence over resources within its boundaries. On the other hand, the more contentious water flowing from one state to another is regulated by the central governm…