(Name of course) Water a natural right or a Commodity Water is a birth right of every human being. It cannot be a commodity since it is a requirement for the very existence of life. Without water all human beings as well as plants and animals will wither and die of thirst…
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Different civilizations throughout history considered water as a mutual property resource and not an open access resource. Hence there were different priorities over water usage. Drinking water had the highest priority; nobody who wanted drinking water was turned away. The community well dug by the community in general was freely used by the community. In a civilization like Rome, shows a typical example of how water was allocated when there was an actual allocation and sanitation system. They had an unrestricted water source recognized as the lacus. Here the Romans rich or poor could collect water for free. The use of lacus required one to transport the water to their private homes using their own labour and money. Then there was another kind of executive supply of water whereby the water would be delivered to the homestead via pipe for a fee. It was an actual right recognized by the Roman and the Jewish law which was known as the “Right to thirst”. This shows that human beings since the early civilization have recognized water especially drinking water as a human right and not a commodity (Branco, 150). In today’s world, international human rights and law have been put in place which acknowledges water as a human right and not a commodity. This was agreed on after a lot of discussion and debate by 122 countries. This decision was arrived at formally in 28 July 2010. This was done in a General Assembly (GA) resolution (A/64/292 which was established on draft resolution A/64/L>63/Rev.1.) It led to the UN Human Rights Council espousing an obligatory resolution that acknowledged that the human right to water and sanitation is an element of the right to a sufficient standard of living. Although it is recognized in international law it cannot be imposed in the national echelon until it’s integrated into the national legislation (Gupta, 304). This resolution confirms that the human right to nontoxic drinking water and sanitation is originated from the right to adequate standard of living and is inextricably tied to the right of the highest possible standard of physical and mental health, also the right to life and human dignity. This right places several responsibilities on governments. They are meant to ensure that all their citizens can access sufficient, uncontaminated water and affordable in an equal manner. Some of the uses that water should be availed for include drinking, personal sanitation, washing clothes, food preparation and personal hygiene. The States should ensure that first priority should go to personal and domestic uses over other uses. This water should be sufficient, clean affordable and accessible. Governments should also take up secondary priorities of irrigation and availing water for manufacturing in an affordable manner (International water sanitation center, 204). The number of people unable to access clean and improved sources of domestic and drinking water is 780 million and at least 2.6 billion lacking access to sanitation services. This shows that still a lot has to be done to make sure water is accessible to all in the planet. Other problems that have afflicted secure and accessible sourcing of water is the cross-border conflicts in the Middle East, The Eastern Mediterranean and other parts of North America. Some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and researchers have tried to establish the fact that the right to water is also
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Water in some parts of the world is considered a priced commodity as many people have to pay or travel many miles to avail of it. Others however opine that water as a priced commodity is not consistent with the right to water. There is also an inconsistency to these concepts which are considered by other theorists.
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