As crucial to our survival as the air we breathe, water is an essential part of the global commons. It is imperative we manage and preserve this precious resource for future generations rather than treat it as a commodity to be bought and sold on the open market.
Water has no substitute. It’s a basic human need, necessary for physical health, agricultural production, the entire spectrum of production and economic activity, and vigorous ecosystems. But fresh water resources are being challenged by population growth, climate change, mismanagement, pollution and greed.
The emerging water crisis encourages global speculation in land and water rights, taking water out of the commons and putting it into the hands of unscrupulous business interests. So unless we act quickly to address the issues of poor management, self-serving economic incentives, underinvestment in appropriate technologies, and simple waste, we will lose access to adequate and affordable local access to water, leading to severe and perhaps permanent environmental and economic displacement.