water: a human right

I really enjoyed how last week’s lecture focused on all of the different ways humans have relationships with water. I really hadn’t considered the innumerable roles that water plays on the planet, ranging from an ancient symbol of life to a means of transportation. Perhaps most fundamentally, water is absolutely necessary for human life. After all, most of what we’re made of is in fact water! So if water is necessary for life, and if we can all agree that every human on the planet has a right to their own life, then isn’t water a human right? After thinking about this idea and doing some research, I decided that in my opinion, every person should have access to clean and adequate amounts of drinking water. It seems that in a society as technologically advanced as our own, this should be one of the first and most basic issues we address.

Bottled_water_in_supermarket.JPG

(source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bottled_water_in_supermarket.JPG)

What’s more, while researching the various “right to water” movements, I realized that all of these propositions defend the right of “access” to water, but not “free” water. I find the concept of bottling and selling water to be a bit strange but I understand the obvious appeal in capitalizing on this invaluable resource. However, it does always strike me as odd that you can pay nearly $2 for a bottle of water in a vending machine, or go to a water fountain and get as much water as you like, for free. The availability of water is certainly a strange thing and what’s more it seems to often be misleading. California is in a drought, yet if I hadn’t been informed of this via news and social media, I would have no idea based on the seemingly endless supply of water that comes out of my shower head, faucet, toilet, and water fountain, not to mention the aisles full of the stuff at every convenience store and market in the area.  

Bottle-Filling-Drinking-Fountain.jpg

(source: https://feedyourskull.com/2013/01/11/brilliant-ideas-bottle-filling-drinking-fountain/)

If I took away one thing from this week’s exploration of water it is that water is weird. It is vital and disappearing and symbolic and illusive all at once.

TapVsBottledWater.jpg

(source: http://askhrgreen.org/take-back-the-tap-this-drinking-water-week/)

references:

https://www.water-challenge.com/posts/water-is-a-human-right-–-but-not-a-free-good

http://www.righttowater.info/why-the-right-to-water-and-sanitation/

http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/who-should-control-our-water

pictures:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bottled_water_in_supermarket.JPG

https://feedyourskull.com/2013/01/11/brilliant-ideas-bottle-filling-drinking-fountain/

http://askhrgreen.org/take-back-the-tap-this-drinking-water-week/