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ENVS Research Paper

By the late 1990s enron had become one of the largest

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private sphere. By the late 1990’s Enron had become one of the largest water “multinationals through its subsidiary Azurix” and in its fall proved their study correct (Bakker, 437). Esache and Rossi showed that “democratic accountability” towards citizens is more effective when compared with “corporate accountability to shareholders” (Bakker, 437). Water as a Human Right Many people that oppose water privatization argue that water is a human right. After gaining support from the World Health Organization and the United Nations Development Programme, this argument became more legitimate. These agencies gave new legal avenues for citizens to compel states to supply basic water needs. This demand was based on the rational that the right to water is embedded in other rights such as the rights to food, life, health and dignity, which are already recognized in international law. Opponents have pointed out the difficultly in implementing a right to water. They argue that implementation would cause conflict over transboundary waters, and potential abuse of the concept as governments could control allocation of water to more privileged groups. In South Africa the right to water has not prevented large-scale disconnections and persistent inequities in water distribution (Bakker, 438). Anthropocentrism of human rights is another critique drawn by
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opponents. They assert that water as a human right fails to include the rights of non-humans. This could further degradation of hydrological systems for which humans depend on, creating an even larger issue. Conclusion Public allocation of water protects the rights of the poor and environment. The state is often the only institution that includes all uses of water resources. By moving the right of allocation from the public sphere to the private sphere endangers the well being of developing countries. Having clean drinking water is a right to all human beings and should not be distributed by private companies with corrupt allocation systems. However creating legal statures binding water to human rights will create larger issues with regards to sustainability of life on the planet. Therefore it is important to have some sort of “safety net” with regards to food and shelter that so these rights can be met for all citizens. Water is more complicated because it is a non-substitutable resource essential for all life. Full privatization of water would implead on basic human rights to water unless it is coupled with a law prohibiting disconnections of residential consumers with strong regulatory frameworks for quality and price standards. When analyzing the implications of water privatizations in third world countries with Kenya and Ghana as case studies it is important to note that this issue is far more complicated than class separation. Privatization would theatrically help a struggling country economically; the issue of human survival and sustainability overwhelmingly impact such a decision. Although
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