Water Privatization Essay

Pages: 12 (3687 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business

One of the groups already contributing to the problem is bottled water companies that pollute the environment by storing water in plastic bottles, and take water from the supply in rapidly dwindling aquifers. This use of water reduces the amount of water resources available and reduces according to some people's belief in the government's ability to produce safe water resources. It promotes people's confidence in water privatization.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Essay on Water Privatization How Privatization of Assignment

Water privatization has been attempted in the UK and other European regions as well, and has been met with failure. In the UK, privatization was met with bankruptcy and public outcry. A company named Yorkshire Water amassed "colossal debts" while struggling to make a profit; the company like many others proposed many solutions to their problems, but like many other private water companies in the region, failed to pay sustainable dividends to customers, and failed to provide adequate clean water. Unlike public water agencies, the company failed to have the ability to charge reasonable prices for water, failed to provide clean water, and failed to engage in honest business. Many of the private water companies in the UK are "regularly prosecuted" because they consistently pollute the rivers in the country. Companies like Vivendi and Suez-Lyonnaise have been cited for dumping raw sewage in fact into the marina at Dorset. One can only imagine the environmental impact such actions have. Other agencies have been cited for outbreaks of diseases including cryptosporidiosis; still others include a failure to reduce the level of pesticides and other chemicals. This is not something that private companies have had problems with alone however. Public water agencies also struggle to keep water clean. However, one of the biggest arguments private companies have is that they can provide "cleaner" water than public agencies. However time and time again studies show that private companies are no better than government agencies at providing clean water, as evidenced. In fact, there is information suggesting that private companies are much worse at attempting to keep clean water clean. This is sometimes because of "lax" standards and the increase in sewage flow in sewers that increases the load on treatment. A study of the UK in early October of 2000 showed that the risk of raw sewage flooding into homes was high. According to one study the North West Customer Service Committee mentioned how "several cases of sewer flooding recently occurred due to sewers unable to cope with sudden increase in water volume during heavy storms" and blamed the government, stating that they did not make "elimination of sewer flooding a statutory obligation of water companies, meaning private water companies (Lobina & Hall, 2001).

Why Government Should Regulate Water

There is much debate as to who should regulate water. In the states, there is debate as to whether states or the government should regulate water. The answer is "both." If states regulated water alone, there would be a tremendous amount of variation in clean water legislation, because states could randomly select adequate "safe" pollution levels. There are many different levels of how safe water pollution is, and many states have various levels of biodiversity, meaning plant and animal life. National regulations with a European type union framework would ensure that all states are operating cohesively to ensure that everyone has access to the same water quality and that pollutants were regulated within the scope of a national framework. This in turn could be translated into an international framework for global water sanitation. Water is something that is a global or international problem. It is not something that is limited to one nation or one nation-state. Water is something that seeps into the ground and is easily transmitted from one place to another. It evaporates into the air and therefore travels to the air into air quality and pollutants. Thus, it is something that should be considered from an international and not simply from a national vantage. Wind carries air and rain, which also becomes the water that people end up drinking. Water or rainwater goes into the ground which eventually becomes the water that people drink, or the water that flows into rivers and lakes. It is critical that standards are set that are safe for human beings everywhere. Humans are generally the same, so what is safe for a human being in one place will generally be safe for a human in another.

It isn't enough to simply set standards however, they need implementation and enforcement. This is why privatization of water isn't something that will work. With privatization, there is no reason to enforce certain standards. Private companies have no one to report to but themselves. The bottom line in privatization is how much money is going into the corporate entities bank account, and how much money the CEO and shareholders receive. Thus, one party or parties benefit. However, in the case of government, in idealized democracy, the government has to report to the people. If people begin rioting and complaining because the water is polluted, then people are going to rebel and fight back until they receive the water they need. What private companies may not realize is that polluted water brings many things, including disease. If water is not properly regulated than the spread of disease may become rampant. Once that happens, it will become a lot harder to control disease and provide clean water. It is better to prevent a problem than to fix a problem once it starts.

There are some liberals that argue having the government regulate water is much like having governments regulates carbon dioxide. They fear that if organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency regulate too much, they will become like commandos. Many people are afraid of water regulation, believing that if governments regulate the water they will have too much power over the people. If that is the case, they will at the very least argue in favor of the governments setting standards for water quality. If they do this however, who will be in charge of maintaining those standards? Water quality control is essential to life. Someone has to be held accountable for maintaining the quality of water. The government's role is not to control water, but to ensure the public has adequate access to safe, clean water to drink and to use otherwise. Sometimes people become too concerned that the government is taking too much control. They should be more concerned that private companies are attempting the very same thing. When private companies gain control of water resources, historically statistics suggest they begin charging excessive amounts for a resource that for all intents and purposes should be free to consumers.

Water is a life-promoting and life giving resource. All human beings require safe, clean water to live. The human body is largely made up of water. To fail to provide free and clean water is a crime. When privatization of water occurs in first and second world countries, one can only imagine the damage being done in developing countries where water is already in short supply. First and second world countries have an obligation to set a standard and an example for other developing areas of the world. Providing sanitary water is a human right. Governments have an obligation to set standards and implement quality controls regardless of whether they are democratic, socialist or otherwise regulated. All people have a right to (1) food and (2) access to clean water. In life, people first seek out the basic essentials, which include the things that will make them feel secure. These typically include a roof over their head, food, and access to water. When these things are denied, families become separated, children die. Riots occur. There are now over 1.1 billion people in the world today. Massachusetts-American, a U.S. Water Works subsidiary, made the cost of water more than double under just less than five years, stating they needed to raise the cost to provide a new treatment facility, however evidence suggests they did this just to increase their profit margin (SERC, 2011).

Water Solutions

One way to put a stop to privatization is to lobby for the right to water. Nations must come together and insist that the right to water is a basic human right. Many people argue that any effort against privatization is a good impetus that will support access to water. The move toward democracy is a movement that may help improve access to water in many regions. In regions where there is a great disparity among the wealthy and the poor the influence of money in the electoral system can result in more privatization. However even in the United States the tide is changing where more and more anymore we see greater levels of wealth inequality where the wealthy are receiving more breaks and this is resulting in greater benefits for the wealthy… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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