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The Scarcity of Resources in the World - Case Study Example

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The paper "The Scarcity of Resources in the World" highlights that water is such a precious resource and we must do all we can to ensure that we have an abundant supply of it in the years to come, but more importantly that this supply is accessible to all. …
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The Scarcity of Resources in the World
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Download file to see previous pages Freshwater is a basic human necessity. We need it for drinking, sanitation and personal hygiene, irrigation, hydroelectricity, for the natural resources it contains (such as fish), to preserve ecological balance, as part of our cultural mythology and for enjoyment (as part of the scenery). Flowing river water is a common resource which confers user rights but no private ownership rights. Groundwater, on the other hand, is subject to private ownership and therefore vulnerable to excess exploitation. This also makes groundwater harvesting practices more scattered and difficult to implement and monitor As more and more parts of the world face increasing water shortages and water commoditization, the issue of water scarcity – how it is perceived, problematized and the consequences in the form of policy responses – becomes crucial. Postel (2008) sums up the problem cogently:
Why has so much of modern water management gone awry? Why is it that ever greater amounts of money and ever more sophisticated engineering have not solved the worlds water problems? Why, in so many places on this planet, are rivers drying up, lakes shrinking, and water tables falling?
First and foremost, it is essential to study the concept of scarcity – its underlying assumptions and how these translate in policy terms. Scarcity is a central concept in economic theory, particularly neoclassical economic theory, which in turn has strongly influenced policy thought. This focus on scarcity as deriving from economic thought has important implications for policy planners. Firstly, scarcity is given in economics. Thus, policymakers need not necessarily try and understand the nature of the scarcity – whether it is absolute or relative, constructed or real (Mehta 2003 and 2006)  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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