Fresh water is essential for life -- and there's not nearly enough of it for the world right now. Why is that, and what could we do? Christiana Z. Peppard lays out the big questions of our global water problem. And no, shorter showers are not the answer.
Christiana Z. Peppard is a water-loving biologist turned ethicist who thinks a lot about bodies of water and the fact/value distinction. She is Assistant Professor of Theology, Science and Ethics at Fordham University in New York City.
Here is part one of two in a series about water: Fresh water accounts for only 2.5% of Earth's water, yet it is vital for human civilization. What are our sources of fresh water? In the first of a two part series on fresh water, Christiana Z. Peppard breaks the numbers down and discusses who is using it and to what ends.
A global public good is a good that has the three following properties: [1) It is non-rivalrous. Consumption of this good by anyone does not reduce the quantity available to other agents. 2) It is non-excludable. It is impossible to prevent anyone from consuming that good. 3) It is available worldwide.] This concept is an extension of American economist Paul Samuelson's notion of public goods to the economics of globalization.
Here's an excerpt from an article about people who have won awards for providing access to clean water: "With its Clean Water Foundation, Georg Fischer has been involved since 2002 in projects to improve the water supply in developing countries and disaster areas. To date, over 200,000 people worldwide have received a better access to clean drinking water."
Here's an excerpt from a Catholic News source: "A referendum in Italy has spotlighted an emerging social justice issue for the Catholic Church: access to safe water as a basic human right."
Here's news about global water justice activists: "This Saturday, July 28, 2012 marks the two-year anniversary of the historic United Nations General Assembly resolution recognizing the Human Right to Water and Sanitation. This human right has yet to be fully implemented, however, prompting water justice activists from around the world to release an open letter demanding action from governments."
From a 2007 article by the Food and Agricultural Organization: "By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world's population could be living under water stress conditions, FAO said today. Water use has grown at more than twice the rate of population increase over the last century, making sustainable, efficient and equitable management of scarce water resources a key challenge for the future, according to FAO's Pasquale Steduto, current Chair of the United Nations coordination mechanism, UN-Water."
A New York Times article: The Ins and Outs of Digging a Well
The Water Project, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to bringing relief to communities around the world who suffer needlessly from a lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation.