Anna Cottier/Amy Gibb/Jacquie Marechal/Vanessa Macdonald
The privatization of water violates basic human rights for the benefit of large scale corporations at the expense of developing populations. In this presentation we will discuss the use of water, the overuse of water by developed countries, the benefits and consequences of privatization, the direct violation of human rights, wars and riots, the distribution of water and fossil fuel extraction, and industrial water use.
In the past 10 years, diarrhea has killed more children than all those lost to armed conflict in almost 60 years since the Second World War
Of the 6 billion people in the world, 1.1 billion lack access to safe drinking water
more than 10% of people worldwide consume foods irrigated by wastewater that can contain chemicals or disease-causing organisms
2.4 billion are denied proper sanitation
water is a $400, 000, 000 dollar industry, 3rd to oil and electricity
70% of all water resource use is for agriculture
instruction booklets are distributed, but they are printed in English - more than half of the communities do not speak English
people may wait up to 4 weeks to get water, it is not always guaranteed to come
1 in 10 children dies before the age of 5 due to lack of water
777 million people in developing countries are estimated not to have access to sufficient and adequate food
on average, house holds in rural Africa spend 26% of their time fetching water; it is generally women who do this task
WATER FOR EVERYTHING NOT JUST DRINKING
EFFECTS ON LIVES
FOUR CATEGOTRIES OF WATER USE:
OVERUSE OF WATER BY DEVELOPED COUNTRIES
USA uses 408 billion gallons/day
Minimum requirement would be 13 gallons of water/day for drinking, cooking, cleaning, etc.
This would be 3.8 billion gallons/day in USA (less than 1% of 408 billion being used)
Water is usually free in developed countries or very cheap
Farmers in USA get subsidies for irrigation
Governments could impose rules about water wasting
WHO DOES PRIVATIZATION BENEFIT?
Privatization is to take water control out of the hands of the public sphere. Privatization helps to conserve water. Increasing the amount water costs could preserve, or increase awareness. Water is reducing because of climate and geographical factors, as well as ineffective distribution by governments. Etc etc...
The profit motive
POVERTY AND THE EFFECTS OF PRIVATIZATION
POVERTY IS THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF DEATH IN THE WORLD TODAY
1 child every 15 seconds dies from lack of clean drinking water
During the length of our 2 hour tutorials…that amounts to 480 children.
The world has the necessary resources and skills to eradicate poverty totally in less than one generation
$1.2 billion a year would ensure universal access to basic social services (basic education, health, nutrition, access to water and sewage disposal)
This is the same cost as a single American Stealth B-2 Bomber Jet.
HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION
“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of ... circumstances beyond his control.”
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations, December 10, 1948
Water is not a privileged service that you can access if you can afford it
Water is a human right
You can live 40 days without food, but just 5 days without water
WARS AND RIOTS
in February and March of 2000, protests broke out in Cochabamba, Bolivia due to the steep prices of water
50 people detained, many injured, 6 people killed, police began to break into the houses of protest leaders who were then sent to remote prisons in the jungle
the state of emergency allowed the state to place a 90 day suspension on all basic human rights, restricting media, allowing captures and arrests to occur without a warrant
WARS AND RIOTS
August 2003: residents meet in the streets to express concerns
the meters were installed as a pilot project to upgrade supply facilities in Soweto
government claims that billions of water has been saved by restrictions - yet households consume the lowest amount of water; agriculture and mines consume the greatest amount
the water meters were briefly abandoned in 2000 following a cholera outbreak in which several hundred people died.
DISTRIBUTION OF WATER
Cost determined by treatment, transportation, demand and subsidies
Governments subsidizes costs for major cities, developing countries aren’t subsidized (they pay more)
IMF pressures developing countries to privatize water distribution
Companies may distribute water to more wealthy & politically powerful groups
They do not invest in water conservation technologies
FOSSIL FUEL EXTRACTION AND INDUSTRIAL WATER USE
Oil sands in Alberta use water to recover oil from sand
2-5 barrels of fresh water per barrel of oil produced
Pressure from government & public improved technologies and now they recycle ~90% of water used
Examples of water used to produce 1 million British thermal units (MMBtu) of energy:
Nuclear power uses 8-14 gallons
Conventional oil uses 8-20 gallons
Coal uses 13-32 gallons
Oil sands use 27-68 gallons
Ethanol (corn fuel) uses 2510 – 29100 gallons
Soy biodiesel uses 14000 – 75000 gallons (K. Cashman, 2010)
Industrial production uses 23% of worldwide water supply
Virtual water: water used in production of goods and services that is not part of final product
Industry could use waste waters or salt water to increase water conservation
In conclusion, we believe that access to clean water is a human right. People who are lacking clean water are suffering, and millions are dying. Just take a minute to reflect on how your life would turn out if those papers were true. They are proportional to world statistics. While there are some benefits to water privatization, changes must be made to save lives.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
Go green to reduce the water needed by energy sources
Do not waste production goods, as this uses virtual water
Remember what you have been told your whole life; turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, shorten your shower time, don’t water your grass at 2pm in the summer time.