When economic globalization of the water supply is market-driven, money can be spent with no limits to exploit this natural resource. All nations become one market resulting in unprecedented industrial production and the environment be hanged.
International corporations are moving forward in controlling water as governments step back in regulation. Municipal water supplies are being privatized, companies are developing new technologies for water purification and desalination, the bottled water industry has exploded, and dams and rivers are being owned and controlled by huge private groups.
As water becomes privatized, it separates the people who can afford it from those who cannot. Currently about twelve percent of the world's population use eighty-five percent of its water supply and they do not live in poor countries. Allocation of water is mostly controlled commercially with minimal disclosures required by those brokering the water projects such as World Bank.
Traditional water rights are being replaced by:
- water pricing--companies get government subsidies and pump water directly getting it cheaper than residential water customers who go through city water utilities
- water mining--companies obtain rights to water aquifers and small farmers must pay higher access costs
- water dumping--industries pollute regional water and the communities pay the cost
- water ranching--water rights of farmers and ranchers are bought by industry.
Due to diseases caused by drinking unfit water, globally about fifteen million children under five years old die annually. It is the number one killer of children. Clean water is not available to 1.1 billion people in the world; half the population does not have proper water treatment. By 2050, two thirds of the world's population at that time, which will be more than the total world population today, will face water shortages.
In the United States about 46 percent of the lakes are too polluted for aquatic life and fishing or swimming. Over 29 million bottles of water are bought yearly with about 13 percent of the bottles recycled. It takes 17 million barrels of crude oil annually to make those bottles which would fuel a million cars for a year. Water use in America's cities is estimated at 70 percent industrial, 20 percent institutional and between 6 and 10 percent domestic.
In the attached video, the issue of water sharing comes up with fishermen who make their living off water supplies and homeowners concerned about losing thousands of dollars of landscaping due to drought water restrictions questioning why water from their area must be shared with nearby cities in California.
Water is a basic human need and right and must not be available for purchase by corporations for profits. Governments at all levels, nationally and internationally, must safeguard this valuable commodity and control and tax its use by industries. Water decisions must be made on the basis of the environment and watershed protection with laws developed and enforced to restrict water supply use, ban toxic chemicals from polluting water, and ban and control corporate farming that threatens the supply. Limits to growth must be made based on watershed capacities. Lifestyle changes must be made by individuals.